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Good news, bad news: WD ships first 1 TB mobile drive, doesn't fit in Mac laptops

Mel Martin

Yes, it's a lot of storage -- but the drive's form factor won't fit into any currently available Mac laptop. (Note the update at the end of this post)

I was pretty excited when the Western Digital news release hit my inbox. The new drives, the industry's first in that size for portables, have pretty good specs and capacious storage space. The problem really is the size. With Apple in the business of providing slim notebooks, the drive is just too tall (12.5mm) to make it into any Apple portable, which maxes out at a drive size of 9.5mm.

The drive will be available in a USB enclosure, and WD is also offering a 750 GB version of the drive as well. The 1 TB drive lists for US$250, while the 750 GB drive is $189. Those prices are for the drive alone. Mounted in a USB enclosure the 1 TB drive sells for $300.

Currently the largest 3rd party drives you can get in current Mac laptops max out at 500 GB.

The Mac Mini may be able to house the new drive, but it would be a pretty tight fit, and according to our Steven Sande, may require the removal of the SuperDrive.

Update: We've had a variety of responses to this post, with different ideas about which, if any laptops could take this new high capacity drive. I thought the quickest and best approach would be to try the experts at Other World Computing, who make a living selling replacement hard drives for Mac Desktops and portables. The tech there told me that the last generation 17" MacBook Pro can take the 12.5mm drive, but that the 15" model can't. He also said none of the unibody MacBook Pro models can take a drive of that size. I'm sure some won't accept this information either, but these were the most expert opinions we could find since Western Digital wasn't sure and Apple doesn't generally comment on such things. Since the drives are just shipping, we'll wait for some real world experience and report back. Thanks to all who commented.

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