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Seagate Launches 5 mm Laptop Hard Drives

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Seagate has launched a new hard drive lineup, the Laptop Ultrathin HDD.

Seagate is launching a new series of hard drives, the Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDDs. These hard drives are barely 5 mm thick and weigh just 3.3 oz. Capacities will reach 500 GB. The drives will come in a 2.5" form factor.

"The new Seagate Laptop Ultrathin truly raises the bar, enabling us to finally create high-capacity, thin and light laptops that consumers crave at mass-market price points they can afford," said S.Y. Shian, corporate vice president and general manager of Asus' notebook business unit. "The drive's capacity, coupled with its ultra-slim, lightweight footprint, empowers our engineers to think out of the box and create truly ground-breaking, innovative system designs- it's a win- win for both us and the consumer."

The drives will spin at 5400 RPM, carry 16 MB of cache, have a 5.6 ms average latency, and have sustained data transfer rates of up to 100 MB/s. The drives' power consumption will be no more than 1.4 W.

Seagate's Laptop Ultrathin 500 GB hard drive will cost an MSRP of $89. Numerous manufacturers, among which are Dell and Lenovo, should start employing the units soon.

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  • 15 Hide
    voodoobunny , June 3, 2013 11:07 AM
    brandonjclark: I do! Not everyone can afford a $1000 ultrabook with all-solid-state storage, and this will allow manufacturers to create laptops that are close-to-ultrabook form factors with enough storage for regular people, at prices that regular people can afford.
  • 10 Hide
    sundragon , June 3, 2013 11:30 AM
    Solid state drives have their place - disk based drives still have a use - Kudos to Seagate for continuing their development!
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    voodoobunny , June 3, 2013 11:06 AM
    Take the Asus X202e (11.6", Core i3, 500GB hard drive, less than $450). This could help make it even sleeker without pushing the price out of reach.
    This really could strengthen the class of "almost-ultrabooks".
  • 15 Hide
    voodoobunny , June 3, 2013 11:07 AM
    brandonjclark: I do! Not everyone can afford a $1000 ultrabook with all-solid-state storage, and this will allow manufacturers to create laptops that are close-to-ultrabook form factors with enough storage for regular people, at prices that regular people can afford.
  • 10 Hide
    sundragon , June 3, 2013 11:30 AM
    Solid state drives have their place - disk based drives still have a use - Kudos to Seagate for continuing their development!
  • 8 Hide
    vmem , June 3, 2013 11:30 AM
    hmm, an additional use could be to double this up and turn one 9mm drive slot into 2? some of the older laptops on the market should have room to do this, I donno
  • -2 Hide
    Cy-Kill , June 3, 2013 11:36 AM
    WD has a 1TB 7mm HDD coming out, so why would I want something that may be 2mm thinner and half the capacity!
  • 6 Hide
    InvalidError , June 3, 2013 11:39 AM
    Quote:
    Well this sucks. Who the hell wants a spinning HDD in their laptop anymore?

    HDDs still have 4-5X better $/GB so for people who tend to hoard data but do not mind longer OS/application load times, HDDs still make plenty of sense.

    At 5mm thin/thick though, I would start worrying about whether or not the HDD's frame, lid and platter have sufficient rigidity to guarantee their structural integrity during shipping and handling both of the drives themselves and assembled laptop/whatever.
  • -2 Hide
    corbeau , June 3, 2013 12:01 PM
    I tend to agree more with brandon than others. Yes traditional HDDs have their place, but come on, we see SSDs only in high end parts, and that is just not necessary. Why don't we have laptops with 128gb SSDs for under $600? It's not just about boot time, but also durability, especially in smaller form factors.
    That said, Seagate isn't really an SSD company and there could be a use for some use for these small drives so good job Seagate.
  • 5 Hide
    RobAC , June 3, 2013 12:55 PM
    So tiny and soo cute.
    *ahem*

    I likes it. Still waiting for SSD prices to meet or beat the GB/$$ ratio of mechanical HDs.
  • 1 Hide
    itsnotmeitsyou , June 3, 2013 1:38 PM
    this also might make mobile RAID more viable. Pinning Raid-0 would boost your performance which is nice, but given higher chance of failure in mobile, Raid 1 would also be compelling.
  • 0 Hide
    shovenose2 , June 3, 2013 3:38 PM
    A single drive alone would suck. These 5400RPM drives need to die.
    But four of these in RAID10 would be feasible in a normal sized laptop. Even two of them in RAID1 would fit in this tiny Samsung Chromebook :) 
  • 0 Hide
    jrharbort , June 3, 2013 5:41 PM
    Didn't Western Digital also announce a 5mm 500GB drive just a couple weeks ago?
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , June 3, 2013 5:53 PM
    Now all it needs is a new thinner sata and power connector... or flex connector?
  • 1 Hide
    Lekko , June 3, 2013 10:05 PM
    If they can pair this with onboard solid state drives, that would be fantastic. I just can't give up the speed of a solid state drive for OS and applications, but it's fine for games and media and bulk storage. I could even manage with a meager 64GB of solid state storage for OS and primary apps if you really must keep costs down.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , June 3, 2013 11:14 PM
    Western Digital, Seagate and Hitachi all are making at least 1 2.5" model with 1 more platter than before in the same form factor, and introing 5mm thickness for single platter.
    I hope to see 4 platters with 12.5mm thickness some time.
    Have you heard of having Helium in the drive instead of air? There was an article on that a while ago but I don't think that is the case here.
    They were able to do this by shrinking the thickness of the PCB and also by shrinking parts of the internals, but, the distance between the platters aren't any closer, supposedly.
    I also wonder about access times! Typically 3-platter + mobile drives has access times near 20ms average! Very slow at multitasking. Better be a hybrid drive with write caching abilities. But maybe they'll be able to keep it decent at around 15-16ms average access times.
    I also wonder why they chose to do this now rather than earlier. They must really be having problems increasing areal density via HAMR or SMR.
    Exciting stuff.
  • -1 Hide
    warezme , June 4, 2013 7:41 AM
    to bad it's from Seagate, they don't have very good quality of their drives. They are all about the price which is why big companies purchase them in bulk, only to be replaced in bulk when they fail due to hardware or firmware issues.