Seagate Technology on Tuesday introduced the world's first ultra-thin external hard disk drive (HDD). The novelty packs in the thinnest standard 2.5" hard disk and is designed in order to boost Seagate's branded storage business. The product will not be too expensive and may become popular among users of netbooks or even tablets.
The Seagate GoFlex Slim hard disk drive is just 9mm thick, 38% leaner than the current GoFlex ultra-portable drives. The novelty - for the first time in history - incorporates a 2.5" 7mm hard drive with 320GB capacity and 7200rpm spindle speed. The new drive uses USB 3.0 interface for maximum possible performance on mainstream personal computers. The device supports 192-bit triple DES encryption, which should be enough for consumers, who use such drives.
The drive is rather compact and lightweight (160g) and thus can easily fit into a pocket. However, given the fact that is very slim, it may not be as rugged as other portable HDDs.
“The continued growth of personal digital media stores, our increasingly mobile lifestyles and the continued proliferation of mobile devices are driving the demand for slimmer, more portable storage solutions. Netbooks and slim laptops are great for consuming media, but are limited when it comes to creating and storing high-definition films and photos. With the benefit of using Seagate’s Momentus Thin drive, the 9mm GoFlex Slim ultra-portable hard drive breaks through these boundaries,” said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager of Retail at Seagate.
The GoFlex Slim portable drive also allows for usebetween Windows and Mac computers, interchangeably, without formatting or performance loss. Additionally, the drive’s included premium backup software provides automatic and continuous backups and encrypts files and folders.
The GoFlex Slim portable drive will also be available in a version for use specifically with Mac OS X computers. The GoFlex Slim for Mac portable drive will be HFS+ formatted out-of-the-box, making it fully compatible with Apple Time Machine backup software, while maintaining the ability to work across both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X computers
The 320GB version of the GoFlex Slim drive can be purchased for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $99.
"Consumers have a desire to have digital content available at their fingertips. However, in some cases, personal libraries of digital content are exceeding the storage capacity available in notebook PCs. USB attached HDD storage that is capacious, affordable, lightweight, and in a slim form factor will be appealing to many of these consumers," said John Rydning, IDC’s research director for hard disk drives.
According to IDC, tablets, netbooks and laptops are largely seen as secondary PC devices and are primarily used for information "grazing", or as vehicles of content consumption. Additionally, tablets and netbooks have very limited on-board storage requiring them to have access to additional storage, whether it is local attached, networked or from the cloud. As a result, slim HDDs may get popular among users not satisfied with built-in storage.