Consumer hard drive reviews include 2.5" HDDs with 5mm, 7mm or 9.5mm z-heights and 3.5" form factor hard drives. The consumer hard drive review category also includes solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) reviews which focus on hard drives united with flash storage for caching and better overall performance.
by Josh Linden

Seagate 5mm 500GB Laptop Ultrathin HDD Review

Seagate’s latest single-platter laptop hard drive that was announced today has slimmed down to just 5mm thick while maintaining standard SATA connectivity and interoperability with 7 and 9.5mm drive bays. The 5mm HDD market is centered around laptops, tablets, ultrabooks, and other mobile storage; product lines which are also transitioning from larger form factors to 5mm. If its performance is competitive with other third-generation slim drives, the Laptop Ultrathin's flexible form factor may give Seagate an edge in the mobile storage market.

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by Josh Shaman

HGST Announces Travelstar 5K1500

HGST is announcing its new Travelstar 5K1500 which is the first 9.5mm, 1.5TB HDD to reach the market and is designed primarily for OEMs to install in their higher-end notebook computer offerings. The drive also meets applications such as inclusion in external devices and all-in-one PCs. The HGST Travelstar 5K1500 achieves its capacity expansion by using three platters instead of just one or two. This presents some challenges as operating shock becomes an issue with three platters in a 9.5mm form factor, but HGST has innovated a way of raising the cover to avoid shock problems. HGST is getting out ahead in the market with the Travelstar 5K1500 by offering 1.5TB in a 9.5mm form factor now instead of waiting for a possible engineering enhancement later that may enable greater density so that 1.5TB can fit on one or two platters in 9.5mm drives.

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by Josh Linden

Seagate Announces Purpose-Built 4TB Video HDD

Seagate has announced the Video 3.5 which at 4TB will be the industry’s largest-capacity 3.5-inch hard disk drive engineered specifically for digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes and surveillance systems. The Seagate Video 3.5 offers a 0.55 percent annual failure rate and other features which will be attractive to manufacturers, integrators and installers looking for a drive that can be relied on in the field. The flagship 4TB drive is designed to support 16 simultaneous HD streams or 20 standard-definition streams. Some of the tradeoff for decreased transfer speeds are low power consumption and heat emissions as well as engineering for 24x7 operation.

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by Brian Beeler

WD Blue UltraSlim 500GB Review (WD5000MPCK)

The WD Blue UltraSlim blends affordability with capacity and is WD's latest effort at a mainstream hard drive designed for OEMs. This WD message has long been utilized by the Blue line of hard drives, but this time WD has pushed the boundaries even further, or perhaps you could say contracted those boundaries by releasing the drive in an amazingly thin 5mm body and 2.5" form factor. Just how thin is a 5mm hard drive? About half as thick as a standard 9.5mm form factor and thinner than three SD cards. An engineering feat for sure, UltraSlim 500GB contains just a single platter that spins at 5400 RPM and connects via the diminutive SFF-8784 edge connector and SATA 6Gb/s interface. The drive isn't just thin for thinness sake; OEMs are demanding thinner hard drives for their increasingly skinny portable computing designs and on the enterprise side, embedded solutions have the same requirement. Hardware designs are slimming down and manufacturers either don't want to give up the capacity hard drives offer or don't want or need to take on the expense profile of SSDs.

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by Josh Shaman

WD Announces 5mm WD Blue HDDs and WD Black SSHDs

WD is announcing the shipment of the very first 2.5" hard drives and solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs) in an ultra-slim 5mm form factor that are being offered in a 500GB capacity. The WD Blue comes in an HDD version while the WD Black is the hybrid model. WD has produced both of these new drives to fit the strictest minimal-space applications. They are targeted at use cases that are constrained by the physical room that the drive can use as well as their requirement to have solid performance in the case of the Black SSHD. 

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate Announces Availability of Desktop HDD 4TB

Seagate annouced that it started shipping the Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB (Seagate Desktop HDD.15), the industry’s only 4TB, 4 platter desktop hard drive with 1TB on each platter. Designed with home, SOHO, workstations and small businesses in mind, the drive is an update on what was previously called the Seagate Barracuda. Seagate claims that the 4TB Desktop HDD has speeds of up to 146MB/s while still maintaining a 35% power savings compared to competing models. Seagate notes that its latest iteration offers 800,000 times larger capacity than the first desktop drive they offered in 1979, which enables this drive to hold around 1,000,000 songs. 

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate Ships 2 Billionth Drive

Seagate announced quite an accomplishment today publicizing that it has become the first hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer to ship two billion HDDs. The first one billion units took the company 29 years to ship. However, since then over the last four years, Seagate has managed to ship yet another billion drives. The incredible demand for storage driven by social media, cloud storage, mobile usage, and jumps in file sizes has created the intensity in the market that has led to this achievement.

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate SSHD Thin Review (Gen3 500GB, ST500LM000)

Seagate's third generation SSHDs (solid state hybrid drives), now for both laptops and desktops, are marketed as a replacement for HDDs and serve as a good option for those otherwise considering an SSD. SSHDs aim to offer users the price-point and robust capacity of HDDs while also utilizing NAND flash to provide the performance attained with SSDs by caching critical applications. Slimmed from 9.5mm to 7mm, our review model third generation Seagate 500GB SSHD Thin with 8GB of MLC NAND would fit well in any user configuration and is especially well-suited for ultra-thin, ultra-light laptops.

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate Ships Third-Generation SSHDs

Seagate announced that its third-generation of solid state hybrid drives (SSHD), drives with technology designed to take advantage of the performance of SSDs without sacrificing the capacity users expect from HDDs, will begin shipping. Seagate is currently the only brand offering SSHDs, though it is worth noting that Toshiba and Western Digital have them in development. Seagate's new models include a third-generation line of their laptop SSHDs and Seagate's first desktop version as well. The SSHDs are an economical choice for gamers, media enthusiasts, and users looking to gain a performance edge while still having high-capacity drives.

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by Josh Linden

HGST Announces 1TB, 2.5-inch, 9.5mm Travelstar HDD

HGST has announced that it is now shipping the first 2.5-inch, 9.5mm Travelstar 7,200 RPM hard drives available in 1TB capacities. The new drive is available from HGST as retail kit as well as in the Touro Mobile Pro USB 3.0 external drive. The new Travelstar drive is also be incorporated in G-Technology’s new G-DRIVE mini and G-RAID mini external storage solutions.

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