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Thin Drives: What's the Point?

You might not have given much consideration to the dimensions of your hard drive before. Certainly if you’ve purchased a pre-built computer or laptop, the size of your storage device probably isn’t going to be your top concern. It’s a different picture for manufacturers of ultrathin devices. As the name suggests, these companies are trying to build their laptops and tablets to be the thinnest that they can be. In an ever mobile world, consumers don’t want a heavy and bulky piece of technology weighing them down. If something is thin and light it can be a great selling point.
Seagate are one of these technology companies that produce ultrathin hard drives. Back in June 2013 they release their 500GB Laptop Ultrathin HDD, boasting a 2.5 inch drive that weighs in at 3.3 ounces. According to Seagate, the drive is about as thin as four credit cards stacked on each other and lighter than a deck of cards. The drive, apparently, offers the best cost per GD and per millimetre in the industry for ultrathin devices.
Normally ultrathin hard drives are solid state drives as it’s much easier to shrink down the non-mechanical components into a smaller holding without affecting the performance. However, a problem with SSD devices at the moment is that they’re far more expensive than the standard HDD. Seagate hope that their ultrathin HDD drive will capture those consumers in the market for a more affordable drive, pricing the Laptop Ultrathin at $89.
"When we originally demonstrated this solution last September, we knew we had a truly innovative product that would empower our partners to reimagine mobile applications. The strong support from our OEM partners indicates we have delivered on our vision and look forward to a new wave of innovative solutions enabled by this revolutionary product," said the president of Seagate.
Of course, having an ultrathin drive does more than offer a consumer a thinner and lighter product. It also allows the manufacturer to use the freed up space to offer other advantages. For example, makers of mobile devices could add more powerful batteries, or perhaps circulate the air more efficiently to prevent overheating.
Asus are one of Seagate’s partners and the general manager of Asus’ notebook department, S. Y. Shian, was keen to praise the new HDD.
"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. 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—it's a win-win for both us and the consumer,” he said.
When reviewing the device, Tom’s Hardware noted that although the performance was average, it delivers on the promise of being one of the thinnest drives available on the market. The site also praised the Laptop Ultrathin for consuming less power than a lot of its competitors.
Western Digital offer also offer their own, the WD Blue 1TB 7mm, a 2.5” drive that has two 500GB platters. It’s likely that more companies will begin producing their own ultrathin drives in the coming year.

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