Seagate and Western Digital have reaffirmed their commitment to spinning-rust storage even in this age of tablets, hybrids and Ultrabooks, with the pair launching ultra-slim models for an increasingly svelte market.
Western Digital's WD10SPCX, also known as the WD Blue 1TB 7mm, is claimed by the company to be the world's thinnest 2.5" 1TB drive. Based on a 5,400rpm spindle speed, the drive packs two 500GB platters, 16MB of cache memory and a SATA 6Gb/s interface into a package just 7mm thick, and still include WD's usual raft of branded technologies including impact-protecting ShockGuard, quiet WhisperDrive motors, performance-boosting StableTrac, reliability-improving SecurePark, and positional accuracy-tweaking Dual Stage Actuators.
'Users with large portfolios of content no longer need [fear] an Ultrabook or upgrading to a thin and light notebook,' claimed WD's vice president and general manager of client storage products Matt Rutledge of his company's launch. 'This most compact 1TB hard drive to date offers manufacturers of systems an upsell path for their customers, who will now be able to choose systems offering both sleek design and high capacity.'
Western Digital has confirmed that Acer and Asus have chosen the new drive for upcoming Haswell-based ultra-portable products, with Intel praising the company's foresight. 'The release of the WD Blue 7mm hard drive offers a new level of storage capacity that further enriches the computing experience for users of Ultrabooks, All-in-Ones and other thin and light PCs,' crowed Intel's capabilities marketing manager Roger Bradford.
While 7mm is thin, Seagate has something thinner to announce - so thin, in fact, that the company is hoping to interest tablet customers as well as the Ultrabook crowd. Dubbed the Laptop Ultrathin HDD, the company's latest 320GB and 500GB drives measure just 5mm thick in a standard 2.5" form factor. As with the WD Blue 1TB 7mm, the new 5mm drives - Seagate's first - feature a full-size SATA 6Gb/s connector, a 5,400rpm spindle speed and 16MB of cache memory. Average latency is given at 5.6ms for both models, while WD's 1TB manages a marginally nippier 5.5ms.
The new drives will be released by both companies at retail, as well as being made available for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufactures (ODMs) in volume quantities. With parts yet to hit the UK channel official pricing has yet to be confirmed, but US prices have been set at $139 for the WD Blue 1TB 7mm and $89 for the Seagate 500GB Laptop Ultrathin HDD (approximately £91 and £58 respectively, excluding taxes.)