I would like to replace a desktop machine with a laptop, but it's important to me to have a big hard drive, specifically 3-platter, 12.5mm-high hard drives. The 9.5mm drives only go up to 750GB, and I need more storage than that.

How can I determine which laptops can fit a 12.5mm drive, so I know which models to consider in my shopping?

EDIT: To clarify, I know I can look up the technical details of a specific model and see what the hard drive it can fit. However, there are a lot of different laptops out there, and examining the documentation for each model one at a time will take forever. I'd love to find a database of laptop specs, so I could query for products that fit my requirements. Anything like that?

  • Why is the size of the drive important to you? I can't speak for you but I'll never use anything but an SSD in a laptop again so this is especially puzzling to me. – Shinrai Apr 6 '11 at 14:44
  • @Shinrai: Maybe I record and edit video in the field. Or maybe I want to build a Windows Home Server in a laptop. The biggest 9.5mm drives are only 1/2 the size of the biggest 12.mm drives. – Jay Bazuzi Apr 6 '11 at 21:28
  • Yeah, reasonable scenarios, but I guess I'd rely on external drives for the first example and I'd laugh off the second. You didn't make it sound like capacity was the important thing here, though, so I was confused as to if there was some reason platter count was relevant to you beyond "I need a big drive". Clearly I just read this wrong. – Shinrai Apr 6 '11 at 21:33
  • @Shinrai: Don't laugh too much. Laptops make a great WHS. See blogs.msdn.com/b/jaybaz_ms/archive/2007/10/17/… – Jay Bazuzi Apr 7 '11 at 5:26

I'm not certain of the answer to the question you asked, but I have a similar answer that may also be helpful:

What about considering laptops that can hold two hard drives? I removed the optical drive in my work laptop in favor of a second hard drive. There are also higher-end laptops that can hold two hard drives in addition to an optical drive, some (IIRC) with RAID support. Would that work for you as well?

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  • This is probably a more practical solution to the problem, really. – nhinkle Apr 6 '11 at 0:29
  • I would love to find a laptop that can hold two 12.5mm hard drives. – Jay Bazuzi Apr 6 '11 at 21:29

Check the laptop's specifications from the computer manufacturer. Most OEMs will let you download a full service manual from their support website, which should specify the supported drive dimensions. Try finding laptops that fill the other features you need, and then check their specifications. The sites listed in Where should I find drivers for my laptop if it didn't come with a driver disk? should give you an idea of what sites to check for manuals, as they're often provided in the same area as drivers.

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