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Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDD Review: 500 GB In 5 mm Of Space

Seagate's Laptop Ultrathin HDD Is A Sight...

Seagate's Laptop Ultrathin HDD is about as thick as a stack of six credit cards. Let that sink in. With a Z-height of 5 mm, the hard drive is just over half as thick as the 9.5 mm you expect from a typical 2.5" disk, and those are already pretty darned thin. Additionally, these drives weigh in at 93 g. So, not only are they crazy-tiny, but they're also ultra-light, too. This should be exciting news for the folks who want plenty of capacity from their mobile devices, but are still sensitive to cost (as in, they can't necessarily afford a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD). Naturally, then, Seagate is aiming its newest Laptop Ultrathin HDDs at small laptops and Ultrabooks.

Other than its form factor and weight, the Laptop Ultrathin HDD's other technical specifications are fairly similar to its peers. The drive family employs one platter spinning at 5400 RPM, features 16 MB of data cache, and communicates across a 6 Gb/s SATA interface.

The line-up is three models strong, including the 320 GB ST320LT030, the 500 GB ST500LT032, and, another 500 GB version that sports automatic encryption. According to Seagate, the latter is compliant with Trusted Computing Group standards for Full Disk Encryption.

5, 7, and 9.5 mm hard drives

Of course, as we know, just because a product's technical specifications look familiar doesn't mean that measured performance is going to sync up. Let's have a look at how Seagate's Laptop Ultrathin HDD stacks up to the thicker competition.

  • nevilence
    makes ya wonder how small this format can go. impressive.
    Reply
  • razor512
    For the hard drive being benchmarked, is it possible for tomshardware to color the text to make them easier to find in the list?

    for example http://i.imgur.com/VXwTs6y.jpg
    it only takes about 3 seconds to do (even faster if you are in the process of making the chart and not changing colors in post)
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    Its main selling point is the fact that it's only 5 mm thick, instead of the 9.5"
    Think you meant 9.5mm there.

    At least it's not got proprietary connectors like the WD 5mm ones do. Think you need to add one of those to the benchmarks though - it's Seagate's biggest competition.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    This would be a good choice for a mITX build when you want budget storage to complement a SSD.
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    Not really; it'll cost significantly more per GB than a 9.5mm drive, but all the bays are fine with the thicker drives.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    11265059 said:
    Not really; it'll cost significantly more per GB than a 9.5mm drive, but all the bays are fine with the thicker drives.

    Regular thickness drives are $60-80 and this one is mentioned to be under $100 with no price given for the consumer market. I wouldn't mind paying a small premium for a drive that utilizes 53% of the area of a 9.5mm drive.
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    The thing is there's nothing you can do with the extra space; it's a couple of millimeters in the middle of an HDD cage
    Reply
  • XngXtuHl
    No point in 5 mm HDD, any laptop can install regular 9 mm HDD
    More expensive, more slower
    Reply
  • Flying-Q
    Please Tom's, get rid of the new format for pictures having the caption as an alpha-blended banner overlapping the bottom of the picture. This article's second picture, which attempts to illustrate the thinness of the new drive, is ruined by the new captioning method. Use some intelligence and put the caption UNDER the picture. This is the way that has worked for decades in both print and online. Why change something that works for a system that fails?
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    11265453 said:
    No point in 5 mm HDD, any laptop can install regular 9 mm HDD
    More expensive, more slower

    Nope, ultrabooks often have 7mm slots or none, and soon I'd expect that to be 5mm.
    Reply