Western Digital Releases 5MM Thick Laptop Drives, Calls Them Slimmest On The Market

486074905When it comes to laptops, the industry is trying to make them as small and as portable as possible. However, laptops can only be as small as the components inside them and, as it stands, there are some components that are difficult to make smaller. With that being said, Western Digital has made waves when it comes to laptop drives as the company recently began shipping what it is calling the world’s slimmest laptop drive series on the market. The drives themselves are only 5mm, which measures about one-fifth of an inch thick. This makes them 2mm slimmer than any other 2.5″ form factor drives around today.

A majority of 2.5″ laptop drives are either 9.5mm to 7mm thick and have two platters. This new Western Digital drive has a single 500GB platter according to the company. This new drive series includes the Western Digital Blue hard disk drive and Western Digital Black SSHD (solid-state hybrid drive), which combines NAND flash with traditional spinning disk. Both of these drives also offer 500GB of storage capacity.

According to a statement from Vice President of Western Digital’s Client Computing Business Unit Matt Rutledge, “Our engineering team took a clean-sheet approach with 5mm to deliver an ultra-thin hard drive that enables a world of possibilities and applications for mobile computing and beyond.”

The new drives are designed to allow for smaller device slots in netbooks and ultrabooks, which will subsequently allow for smaller devices. The 5mm height along with a new small form factor SFF-8784 edge connector will give system designers a larger degree of chassis design freedom. In addition to that, it will reduce weight by up 36% compared to a standard 9.55mm drive.

Western Digital Blue 5mm hard drives feature the first application of the SFF-8784 edge connector. This connector receives power from and connects with the host I/O bus through the SATA interface connector SFF-8784. The Western Digital Blue and Western Digital Black 5mm drives, in addition, also come with new operation and non-operation shock specifications that offer 400G and 1,000G of resilience respectively.

Western Digital has also reduced the noise and internal vibration by using a method it calls StableTrac. The motor shaft is secured at both ends, which reduces system-induced vibration and stabilizes platter for accurate tracking during read and write operations. In addition, this also enables consistently higher performance, which is something on-the-go laptop users are always looking for.

When these products are released, Western Digital plans on marketing the Blue version with a retail price of $89 and will cover it with a two-year limited warranty. The Black SSHD drives are already shipping to system manufacturers and integrators with a similar price and warranty.

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