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What Are the Dimensions of a 2.5 SATA Drive?

Updated April 17, 2017

The 2.5-inch hard drive, most commonly found in laptop computers, was first introduced in 1988 by Prairie Tek. That first drive held just 20MB of data. Today, 2.5-inch serial-ATA (SATA) drives are available in capacities up to 1TB. But many people are unaware that 2.5-inch drives are not actually 2.5 inches wide.

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Actual Dimensions

A 2.5-inch SATA hard drive actually measures 2.7 inches wide, 0.37 inch tall, and 3.96 inches long. According to The Tech Report, the 2.5-inch designation actually refers to the size of a typical laptop drive platter, the disc inside the housing that data is actually recorded on. The average 2.5-inch drive weighs slightly more than 113gr.

Comparison with Desktop Drives

The 2.5-inch SATA drive's compact form factor may be best appreciated when compared with a standard 3.5-inch desktop hard drive, which measures 4 inches wide, 1.03 inches tall, and 5.79 inches long. When comparing total volume, the 2.5-inch drive is roughly one-sixth the size of the desktop drive.

Advantages of Smaller Size

The 2.5-inch SATA drive's relatively small size has led product designers to find uses beyond the laptop. For example, 2.5-inch drives are commonly found in portable backup storage drives, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. They are even starting to replace 3.5-inch drives in enterprise storage applications.

Similarities with Larger Drives

While 2.5-inch drives are much smaller than 3.5-inch drives, they do share a number of similarities. For example, the 2.5-inch SATA drive uses the same power and data connections as the larger drive. Basic construction is similar as well. Both size drives use a series of internal platters for storing data, a movable read/write head to read and record data, and two internal motors to spin the platters and move the read/write head.

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About the Author

Scott Georghiou has been writing and editing professionally since 1998. He has previously held writing and editing positions at Circuit City Stores Inc. and specializes in consumer electronics, musical instruments and home brewing. Georghiou holds a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

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