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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9/10/2013 1:24:54 PM
You cannot get SSD performance out of a physical hard disk.
Tablets don't offer SSD performance as it is. Most eMMC's are ~40MB/sec. Virtually no tablet or smartphone has a storage interface that is comparable to SATA1.
And aside from the bandwidth, mobile OS's are tiny. Android is something like 500MB now (for the whole OS) and apps are anywhere from 10-50MB. Music and video are not performance-dependent on their storage medium.
So the issue isn't the speed. It's the reliability and power consumption.
9/10/2013 3:04:54 PM
It's all marketing. Fast drive you say? Until it takes ten times longer to load apps or do anything, because it's still a mechanical drive, so the seek times suck. The random reads suck too.
Why are we even debating this? My goodness, it's 2013 and people are still thinking hard drives can touch flash memory?
Any device reliant on this product is going to leave the user with a miserable experience. And we haven't even touched on reliability yet. How shock resistant is this thing? One good drop of your tablet and it's probably bricked.
9/10/2013 6:12:45 PM
Archos already did it with a tablet using a HDD, and it has a diehard following despite the very claims you make here that amount to a miserable experience.
"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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