Western Digital Squeezes HDDs, Sells 7mm, Low-Power Ultrabook Drives

Since solid state drives just don't cut it, being so expensive, WD offers an alternative

Western Digital is the greatest supplier of hard disk drives and, sure enough, it is doing all it takes to stay in that position, down to essentially shrinking HDDs like they have never been shrunk before.

What WD came up with is an Ultrabook alternative to solid state drives (SSDs), not a perfect one but, then again, nothing is ever perfect.

What we mean by that is that there is a new HDD line available, one that rivals SSDs in size but not in speed or power efficiency.

Still, prices will definitely be lower, and we dare say this is one of the, if not the most, important factors here.

After all, Intel promised that Ultrabooks would have an average price of $700 / 533 Euro by the time of the back-to-school season, and expensive SSDs can't really help with that.

"Consumers want thin and light personal computers, but the limited storage capacity of SSD-based notebooks forces them to pick and choose what files to bring from their library," said Matt Rutledge, vice president and general manager for WD client storage products.

"With the release of the new WD Scorpio Blue 7mm mobile hard drives, WD is able to offer capacity, reliability and data-protection features combined with excellent power management all in a slim form factor perfect for thin and light notebooks."

Spec-wise, the 7mm-thick Scorpio Blue LPVT-series, as they are called, have the 2.5-inch form factor and capacities of 320 GB and 500 GB. The single platter's speed is of 5,400 RPM (rotations per minute) and, the cache memory is 8 MB.

No SATA 6.0 Gbps support (SATA 300 is used instead) but, then again, it's not like 5,400 RPM even allows for transfer speeds higher than 3 Gbps.

Finally, the shock resistance is a nice 400Gs, the power consumption is of 1.4W (0.55W in idle and 0.13W in sleep/standby mode) and the prices are of $99.99 for 500 GB and $79.99 for 320 GB.

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