An almost obsolete magnetic storage device used in computers. Floppy disks store mainly digital data, text and graphics, and computer programs. Floppy disks came in two major sizes: 5 1/4 inch and 3 1/2 inch. The 3-1/2 inch disks are more rigid than the 5 1/4-inch version. Both were subdivided into low density (double density) and high-density types, storing 360KBytes and 1.2MBytes on the 5 1/4-inch format, and 720Kbytes and 1.44Mbytes on the 3 1/2-inch format. Some developments in this field have extended storage on a 3 1/2-inch disk to 2.8MBytes and above. In comparison to hard disks, the advantages of floppy disks are low price and portability, while the disadvantages are slow access time and limited storage. New media formats - magnetic and optic based - are replacing the floppy disks, having much larger storage capacities (from hundreds of megabytes up to several gigabytes), faster access times and ever lower prices.
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