3 platters with a height of only 9.5mm. Previously only 2 platters were possible with this design. I wonder if this will be normal now and if it will happen with 7200RPM hybrid laptop drives as well. Imagine a 4 platter 12.5mm height laptop drive.
It is clear that there are serious issues with increasing platter density further and/or head technology, so they are just increasing the number of platters.
We haven't gone beyond 500GB/platter with 2.5" drives, 1TB/platter with 3.5" drives for about 2 years now! - The Samsung Spinpoint M8 1TB 9.5mm laptop drive has been out for 2 years now and the Scorpio Blue 1TB 9.5mm laptop drive was released soon after.
While I am excited about this advancement, I will never be buying a 5200/5400/5900RPM drive again in my life, so I'm still waiting, ideally 7200RPM with hybridness. The 12.5mm 3-platter 5400RPM laptop drives often have access times of about 19ms average! Very slow if it is multitasking/dealing with fragmented files. I wonder if this 3 platter 9.5mm laptop drive will suffer the same slow access time or if it will be more like a 2 platter with around 15-16ms access time.
Typically a 2 platter 7200RPM laptop drive is 14-15ms average access time.
It is clear that Hitachi is leading the way with capacity in the mobile sector. They are also the only manufacturer that has a 1TB 7200 laptop drive out (Travelstar 7k1000) with about 140MB/s on the outer edge.
1.5TB in a 9.5mm form factor is awesome. If you have a laptop that accommodates mSATA drives you could have a decent sized (128-256GB) mSATA boot SSD with all your programs and still have mass, cheap storage on a hard disk. However, 2.5" SSD's are now hitting 1TB capacities with Crucial's affordable (relatively) M500 series so the market for large notebook hard disks is shrinking as SSD prices continue to drop.