Ultrabook manufacturers jump on board.
Western Digital recently announced that they have started out sampling early versions of a new hybrid hard drive which is just 5mm thick, nearly half as small as traditional 2.5″ HDDs that measure 9.5mm, or even the 7mm variants WD released last year. Targeted mainly towards Ultrabooks that require more and more slimmer profiles, the new 5mm hybrid drive combines the fast speeds of solid state drives as well as high capacity storage of traditional, magnetic based hard drives.
“Mobile devices are becoming smaller, thinner, lighter and more responsive,” said Matt Rutledge, vice president of client storage solutions at WD. “Working with our technology partners, WD has developed new 5 mm hard drives that enable high capacity storage along with excellent performance and superior economics to allow our customers to expand their thin offerings.”
The new hybrid drive will have an unspecified amount (presumably around 10GB) of MLC NAND flash storage combined with 500GB of magnetic platter(s).
Hybrid hard drives are not new to the industry, indeed Seagate has been making their Momentus XT hybrid drives for a few years now; although those drives haven’t caught on as much as we all would have liked. With WD’s new initiative, however, both Acer and ASUS have already signed to be on board the project.
Of course, the new WD Hybrid drives are still in testing phase, so it could be the end of the year before seeing them in Acer and ASUS laptops.