Seagate apparently went ahead of its planned CES announcement and today officially unveiled the world's thinnest 2.5-inch hard disk drive. Measuring just 7mm tall rather than the usual 9.5mm, the Momentus Thin drive is aimed at the increasingly popular ultra-thin notebooks and will come in 160GB and 250GB capacities.

While some laptop manufacturers have opted for 1.8-inch drives to help shave a few millimeters off their products, these new storage devices from Seagate are supposedly far cheaper to produce and should enable a new breed of entry-level thin notebooks and netbooks. Besides offering a slimmer profile, the 2.5-inch disks still perform at typical notebook speeds with a SATA II interface, 5,400RPM spindle speeds and an 8MB cache.

No prices were disclosed. The company is first offering the drive to OEMs and expects to ship them in January.