SimpleTech is well known for releasing high-end notebook hard drives in USB 2.0 enclosures… for less than the competition. Well, this time around, SimpleTech is beating the competition to the punch on the top-tier drive.
Starting today, you can get a 500 GB 2.5-inch SATA drive from Best Buy for only $199.99.
(The product pages haven’t fully updated. To find it online, go to the Best Buy Homepage and type 8906428 into the search bar on their site).
Now, it is inside of a USB 2.0 enclosure, so you do have to take the enclosure apart. And, this does run the risk of breaking the warranty (since whoever made that drive probably won’t support it directly). What drive is on the inside? I suspect a Travelstar 5K500 from Hitachi. SimpleTech normally uses Western Digital drives, but WD doesn’t yet have a 500 GB 2.5-inch drive in production.
Is this a good deal? Considering that 320 GB drives (also in USB 2.0 enclosures) are still hovering around the $100 to $120 range, I’d say so. Also, considering 500 GB 2.5-inch drives start at over $265, yeah, it’s a good deal.
Note for novices: Hard drive makers routinely sell drives inside of a USB 2.0 enclosure for less money than the drive normally costs for use inside of a laptop. It’s a sneaky supply-and-demand tactic that the hard drive makers engage in. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from taking the hard drive out of the enclosure, and installing it inside of your notebook.