We've seen super-thin HDDs before, in 7mm (0.27 inches) and even 5mm (0.19 inches), but they were rare things, not something that ultrabook makers can really afford to use all the time.
Samsung may finally turn 7mm drives into a regular occurrence on the notebook market.
The company has revealed
a new, slim hard disk drive motor that will lead to the existence of 2.5-inch HDDs with thinner profiles than 9.5mm drives (obviously), but otherwise the same specs, including the capacity of 500 GB.
What's more, the small size not only makes them good for ultrabooks, but it increases resistance to impacts. Less noise is a bonus feature too.
Samsung, or rather Samsung Electro-Mechanics, may or may not license its technology to other HDD makers.
Then again, WD, Seagate and Toshiba will make their own equivalents, assuming they don't already have them.