Western Digital ships world's first 5mm laptop HDD and hybrid variant

By on April 23, 2013, 11:15 AM

Western Digital today began shipping the world's first 5mm thick hard drives, which the company says will enable new levels of portability in Ultrabooks without the price premium that SSDs entail. The devices will be marketed under two different series: a 5,400RPM single platter unit carrying the Blue moniker, and a solid-state hybrid counterpart with built-in flash storage sold as part of its Black family of storage products.

Both drives sport the same 2.5-inch form factor but are able to shave an additional 2mm off from the 7-mm offerings on the market today through the use of a tiny edge connector that pairs both power and a SATA interface, as part of what Western Digital calls a “clean sheet approach” when designing the drives.

The 2mm reduction might not seem like much of a difference, but the company says it cuts weight by up to 36 percent compared with a standard 9.5 mm drive and makes it 28% slimmer than 7mm drives.

The Western Digital Blue UltraSlim will initially be available in 500 GB capacities for $89.99 through select distributors and  in systems built by OEMs with a two-year warranty.

Pricing and warranty information isn't available for the hybrids, nor are details about the amount of storage and flash cache they will offer. But The Tech Report says they were able to verify some of the missing information, suggesting they will sport MLC NAND capacities between 8GB and 24GB, and launch in two different versions: one with "WD proprietary" hybrid tech, and another based on "industry standard SATA I/O technology."




User Comments: 7

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Vilandra Vilandra said:

So what makes it a "hybrid"? I was expecting from the title for this to be like a fusion drive, but it doesn't seem that way from the article?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

So what makes it a "hybrid"? I was expecting from the title for this to be like a fusion drive, but it doesn't seem that way from the article?

says it here:

...and and its solid-state hybrid counterpart with built-in flash storage.

It is the use of built-in flash storage that turns it into it a hybrid, or a mutant, if you prefer

Cota Cota said:

Shock test it :3

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Shock test it :3

I bet with the right combination of velocity, flooring and attitude no SSD will stand to a willing enthusiast

JC713 JC713 said:

So what makes it a "hybrid"? I was expecting from the title for this to be like a fusion drive, but it doesn't seem that way from the article?

The "Fusion" drive from Apple isnt really a hybrid. It is just a software mod in OSX that sends images and large files to the HDD instead of the low-capacity SSD.

This hybrid is different since it uses a cache to store important things to be accessed quickly. I really like WDs push for HDDs in a time of SSDs. They really need to get into SSDs if they want to survive.

Zeromus said:

So what makes it a "hybrid"? I was expecting from the title for this to be like a fusion drive, but it doesn't seem that way from the article?

The "Fusion" drive from Apple isnt really a hybrid. It is just a software mod in OSX that sends images and large files to the HDD instead of the low-capacity SSD.

This hybrid is different since it uses a cache to store important things to be accessed quickly. I really like WDs push for HDDs in a time of SSDs. They really need to get into SSDs if they want to survive.

I honestly though their "FusionDrive" was just a hybrid drive that's been branded. Is there something like that for windows?

JC713 JC713 said:

Well, there are hybrid drives like the this Seagate one. But the Fusion drive is partitioned in a way to send large data to an HDD, and smaller, more accessed data to the SSD. A hybrid like the one I mentioned from Seagate, just has a cache to speed up strenuous tasks, mainly to make your PC boot faster.

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