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WD pushes out super-slim shock-resistant Ultrabook drive

Single platter

Western Digital has crafted up a slim half-terabyte single platter drive that uses the least power of all Ultrabook disk drive on the market. WD says it is also the most shock-resistant Ultrabook drive yet.

The 6.8mm thin Scorpio Blue comes in 320GB and 500GB capacities, spins at 5,400rpm and has a 4000Gs operating shock tolerance. The 500GB model draws 1.4 watts when reading or writing, 0.55 watts in idle mode, and 0.13 watts in standby and sleep modes.

Seagate's single-platter Momentus Thin drives come in 160GB, 250GB and 320GB capacities, so WD has a higher capacity drive. The Momentus Thins have a 16MB cache, the Scorpio Blue thins having an 8MB one, and both the Seagate and WD drives use a 3Gbit/sSATA interface. Seagate says the Momentus Thin can stream data at up to 300GB/sec; WD doesn't provide a streaming data figure.

Hitachi GST – WD's now delayed hard-drive spouse – has a single platter Travelstar Z5K5000 storing 250GB, 320GB and 500GB, spinning at 5,400rpm, and with an 8MB cache and 3Gbit/s SATA interface. Wow, it looks like a potential second source for the Scorpio Blue thin drives, or vice versa.

HGST also has a single-platter Z7K500 spinning at 7,200rpm with a 6Gbit/s SATA interface and 32MB cache. That will probably outstream the Momentus Thin. Both of the Hitachi GST drives also have a bulk data encryption option.

We understand Seagate is thinking of adding a flash cache to the Momentus Thin, making a Momentus Thin XT, and providing near-SSD levels of performance with HDD capacity for Ultrabook suppliers wanting the best of both worlds. We might expect WD to flash-ify the single-platter Scorpio Blues too if that turns out to be popular with Ultrabook suppliers.

If Intel adds its 20GB and 24GB SSD 313 to its Ultrabook designs though – along with its hard disk drive hot read data caching software – then that could become moot.

WD's thin Scorpio Blues are shipping now through select distributors and resellers. They have a two-year warranty. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the 500GB model (#: WD5000LPVT) is $99.99, and for the 320GB model (#: WD3200LPVT) is $79.99 – a lot cheaper than solid state drives. ®

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