Take the Asus X202e (11.6", Core i3, 500GB hard drive, less than $450). This could help make it even sleeker without pushing the price out of reach.
This really could strengthen the class of "almost-ultrabooks".
brandonjclark: I do! Not everyone can afford a $1000 ultrabook with all-solid-state storage, and this will allow manufacturers to create laptops that are close-to-ultrabook form factors with enough storage for regular people, at prices that regular people can afford.
Well this sucks. Who the hell wants a spinning HDD in their laptop anymore?
HDDs still have 4-5X better $/GB so for people who tend to hoard data but do not mind longer OS/application load times, HDDs still make plenty of sense.
At 5mm thin/thick though, I would start worrying about whether or not the HDD's frame, lid and platter have sufficient rigidity to guarantee their structural integrity during shipping and handling both of the drives themselves and assembled laptop/whatever.
I tend to agree more with brandon than others. Yes traditional HDDs have their place, but come on, we see SSDs only in high end parts, and that is just not necessary. Why don't we have laptops with 128gb SSDs for under $600? It's not just about boot time, but also durability, especially in smaller form factors.
That said, Seagate isn't really an SSD company and there could be a use for some use for these small drives so good job Seagate.
A single drive alone would suck. These 5400RPM drives need to die.
But four of these in RAID10 would be feasible in a normal sized laptop. Even two of them in RAID1 would fit in this tiny Samsung Chromebook
If they can pair this with onboard solid state drives, that would be fantastic. I just can't give up the speed of a solid state drive for OS and applications, but it's fine for games and media and bulk storage. I could even manage with a meager 64GB of solid state storage for OS and primary apps if you really must keep costs down.
Western Digital, Seagate and Hitachi all are making at least 1 2.5" model with 1 more platter than before in the same form factor, and introing 5mm thickness for single platter.
I hope to see 4 platters with 12.5mm thickness some time.
Have you heard of having Helium in the drive instead of air? There was an article on that a while ago but I don't think that is the case here.
They were able to do this by shrinking the thickness of the PCB and also by shrinking parts of the internals, but, the distance between the platters aren't any closer, supposedly.
I also wonder about access times! Typically 3-platter + mobile drives has access times near 20ms average! Very slow at multitasking. Better be a hybrid drive with write caching abilities. But maybe they'll be able to keep it decent at around 15-16ms average access times.
I also wonder why they chose to do this now rather than earlier. They must really be having problems increasing areal density via HAMR or SMR.
to bad it's from Seagate, they don't have very good quality of their drives. They are all about the price which is why big companies purchase them in bulk, only to be replaced in bulk when they fail due to hardware or firmware issues.