A few months after it started shipping the Scorpio Blue 7mm hard drive, aimed at Intel-based ultrabooks and other ultra-thin and light notebooks, Western Digital on Monday up the ante by announcing what it claims is the “world's thinnest 2.5-inch hybrid hard drive.” The world’s largest HDD maker said it has begun sampling the 5mm-thin hybrid HDD and will be showcasing the technology during the upcoming WD Investor Day on September 13, 2012.
“Mobile devices are becoming smaller, thinner, lighter and more responsive,” Matt Rutledge, vice president of client storage solutions at WD, said in the press release announcing the new hard drive. “Working with our technology partners, WD has developed new 5mm hard drives that enable high capacity storage along with excellent performance and superior economics to allow our customers to expand their thin offerings.”
In its press release, the company touted the main advantages of PC makers using its 5mm hybrid drive, which combines MLC NAND flash with magnetic disks for caching of most frequently used data: “WD 5 mm hybrid hard drives will enable the market’s thinnest computers to offer 500GB of capacity, utilizing almost 50% less volume compared to current 9.5 mm hard drives and at one tenth the cost of similar capacity SSDs.”
Even though the press release is silent on availability, the fact that it mentions Asus and Acer as partners suggests that the first ultrabooks bearing this new WD drive will in likelihood be from these two Taiwanese PC makers.