IT managers have had to make tough storage choices when fitting out laptops for staff: Solid state hard drives for speed needed for the operating system, or spinning drives for large data files.

Western Digital today has introduced a combo drive it says can satisfy both needs. The Black2 is a 2.5-in. device with a 120 GB sold state drive and a 1 TB hard disk. In addition to being used in laptops they can also be used in all-in-one desktop PCs.

“The WD Black2 dual drives empower our customers to enjoy SSD performance and access high capacity storage in a no-compromise package,”  Matt Rutledge, senior vice-president of WD’s storage technology business unit said in a news release.

Among the advantages, Western Digital [Nasdaq: WDC] says, is that the SSD takes some of the load off the moving parts of the HHD, which – in theory – extends the life of the spinning drive. And, with 1 TB of storage users shouldn’t need cloud storage.

As Computerworld U.S. notes, the drive is only available through retail channels and not as an option through laptop manufacturers. However we suspect that will change soon as it offers corporate road warriors a perfect performance compromise.

Also, it only works on PCs running Windows.

The U.S. suggested list price is $299.

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