We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Seagate shows 5mm thick Ultrathin hard drive for laptops and tablets

Spinning drive as thick as four credit cards

Seagate has announced its thinnest ever hard drive, the 5mm thick Ultrathin HDD designed for the latest generation of slim laptops and tablets.

Every time it appears that the spinning hard drive is finally on its last legs and about to give way to solid state memory, manufacturers come up with another innovation to extend the technology's useful life.

What keeps the old-fashioned hard drive spinning these days is cost relative to storage capacity, something SSD designs still struggle to compete with.

The 2.5 inch 5,400rpm Laptop Ultrathin HDD chops 2mm from the company's previous thinnest hard drive design of 7mm, equivalent to a 25 percent reduction and a new weight of 93 grams (3.3 ounces).

The company characterised this as being equivalent to the thickness of four credit cards. Despite its size, the SATA 6GB/s drive will be offered in capacities of 320GB and 500GB with no drop in performance.

The company sees the new drive as helping to make possible super-thin laptops, possibly thinner even than today's Ultrabooks.

"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," commented notebook head for Asus, S.Y. Shian.

"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."

Costing $89 retail (£60), the drive is also being offered in a self-encrypting (SED) format in the 500GB version for enterprise use. The unit will also turn up in slim external USB drives at some point.

The company sees also the new drive as being used in tablet computers, a market that until now has relied on relatively low-capacity flash memory.

Seagate's parallel push to keep hard drives relevant comes in the form of hybrid drives that combine spinning platters with some NAND flash capacity to speed booting up. Formerly known as Momentus XT drives, earlier this year these were rebranded 'SSHD'.

IDG UK Sites

Apple WWDC 2015 rumours: iOS 9, OS X 10.11, Apple TV & more

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Kung Fury VFX behind-the-scenes: how Fido blew up everything for this year's most over-the-top film

IDG UK Sites

What will Apple launch at WWDC 2015, with one week to go? Apple TV, Macs, Beats Music, iOS 9, OS X 1......