Big things come in small packages for Seagate Technology, which has introduced what it says is the thinnest 2.5-inch hard drive on the market. The addition to its Momentus product line, the Momentus Thin, is seven millimeters high, according to Joni Clark, product
manger for notebook hard drives. The drive is aimed at laptops, netbooks, backup devices, and consumer electronics.
While the technical news is the reduced height of the drive -- Seagate says it is 25 percent slimmer than generally available 9.5mm 2.5-inch drives -- the real-world advantage is in the cost/value equation. That's an important element as the Internet becomes increasingly and smaller form factor computing devices, such as netbooks, tablets and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), continue to gain in popularity.
Indeed, the small-device drive sector will develop into a major battleground among disk-drive makers. "Our goal is to blow the doors off thin drives, so that everyone can enjoy the advantages of thin computing," Clark said.
Lower Cost, More Capacity
She said currently 8mm, 1.8-inch drives with 40 gigabytes of capacity cost about $80. A 1.8-inch 100GB unit runs about $170 and a 100GB solid-state drive can run as high as $936. Against this backdrop, Seagate is betting that its $55 Momentus Thin with 250GB of capacity will have a significant impact.
The Momentus Thin, according to Clark, mainstreams more slender drives. "Today, if you want a slimmer laptop or netbook, one that is very slim, you are going to pay a premium because to get the smaller size all the components are more 'nichy' and harder to come by," Clark said. "So [the Momentus Thin] is incredibly affordable compared to the other options that are out there today."
The Momentus Thin comes in 250GB and 160GB models. Both have 8MB cache, a serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) bus that operates at 3Gb/second and runs at 5400 RPM. The company says the device will ship to its partners next month.
Clark said the Momentus Thin gives original equipment manufacturers and systems integrators the ability to build thinner machines or make existing designs more robust by facilitating better airflow around the drive.
Momentus 5400 Capacity Doubled
A look at the potential market shows why Seagate is expanding the Momentus line. According to IDC, there were 450 million mobile Internet users worldwide this year. The firm expects that number to more than double and pass the one billion mark by the end of 2013. While not all of these will have hard drives, a significant number will.
Separately, Seagate announced that the top capacity for the Momentus 5400 line has been doubled from 320GB to 640GB. The Momentus family features , FIPS 140-2 certification, free-fall sensors, and cache sizes as large as 16MB.