Most users are used to the fact that hard disk drives are relatively large rectangular devices that can store large amounts of data. Even external 2.5-inch storage solutions that have already become pretty widely spread and recently announced 1.8-inch models are much larger than flash drives in terms of physical size as well as storage capacity.
I am sure that some of you remember such storage solutions as IBM Microdrive – these hard disk drives built with 1” platters were pretty popular among professional photographers sometime ago. They featured the same pinout and physical dimensions as Compact Flash cards, but boasted larger storage capacity and cost slightly less, though their data transfer rate and power consumption levels were just a little behind those of the CF cards. If you would like to learn more about the development of storage solutions, I suggest that you check out our old article called 1GB Compact Flash Media Review devoted to the very first solutions with 1GB storage capacity.
However, this is history already: IBM is no longer manufacturing hard disk drives having sold the corresponding division to Hitachi. The latter, however, is still making storage drives in this form-factor, but they are not as popular as they used to be anymore, since compact flash cards have already hit the same storage capacities and improved their performance dramatically.
So, what did bring back all these memories? In fact, we got our hands on a pretty funky-looking external storage device with USB interface – Seagate USB Pocket Hard Drive built on a 1” hard drive with 8GB storage capacity. The size of this device is very close to that of a USB flash drive, therefore we decided to see which one would be a winner this time in the race between flash-drives and hard disk drives.