Seagate Positions Slim, 500GB HDD for Tablet Market
September 10, 2013 4:20 AM
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Seagate claims that its 500GB will offer the performance of a 16GB SSD
When it comes to devices like consumer tablets, we've all just grown accustomed to the use of fast and reliable onboard NAND flash for our storage needs. The use of NAND makes sense because of the performance and inherent robust nature of the storage medium when used in a highly mobile (and sometimes dropped) tablet.
However, using NAND flash isn't exactly cheap, so most tablets that we see these days top out at either
128GB in consumer devices
256GB for professional devices
, a company that is deeply invested in producing HDDs, is maneuvering to extend its reach into the booming tablet market with new storage solutions.
The company is introducing its new 2.5" Ultra Mobile HDD that is only 5mm thin and weighs 3.5 ounces. Seagate says that this new HDD will offer 500GB of space (with an 8GB flash buffer), while offering power consumption that mirrors a 64GB SSD and performance that matches a 16GB SSD.
Naturally, Seagate says that its 500GB Ultra Mobile HDD solution would be cheaper than either the aforementioned SSDs.
Seagate's 500GB Ultra Mobile HDD (pictured on the left)
“Coupling an ultra-thin, high-capacity HDD with software designed to optimize integration into tablets at a value-add price has allowed us to deliver a truly ground-breaking solution, enabling our partners to reimagine the mobile device,” said Steve Luczo, president, CEO and chairman of Seagate. “By empowering our OEMs with this revolutionary new technology, we have invited the industry to re-think the mobile market making this offering a true game-changer in the world of storage.”
While the idea of getting 500GB of storage space with SSD performance at a lower price point sounds intriguing, we also have to realize that this is still a 2.5" form-factor device in a slimmer package. That means that the footprint of the drive will still take up a lot of real estate within the tablet's chassis. And that extra space gobbled up by the drive's packaging will mean less space for things like the internal battery.
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Tablets Don't Have SSDs
9/10/2013 11:47:21 AM
The author of this article and many of the people commenting seem to be pretty woefully misinformed about what storage technology is actually used in tablets. Generally you're getting the same stuff that goes in smartphones: eMMC. eMMC is nowhere near the performance of an SSD, *especially* for random access (which is where SSDs excell and which accounts for their greater responsiveness).
The only exception is in some of full-fledged Win8 tabs like the Surface. The Atom-based onces generally use eMMC, though.
Honestly, I'm willing to bet that this HDD with a cache is comparable if not superior in performance to eMMC. Also, I'm quite sure they've implemented shock-protection technologies (which have existed for HDDs for quite some time now) to make the usual minor falls and bumps a non-issue. The power draw is probably not an issue either.
The only real concern is if they can fit these inside a tablet form factor without giving up space for the battery or compromising on other areas.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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