WD’s 5mm Hybrid Drive is Crazy Thin (Hands on)

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Remember our article the other day that talked about Western Digital’s new hybrid hard drive? They’re showing it off here at IDF and the new drive is pretty ridiculous. When you read about the new technology, 5mm sounds pretty thin, right? Well, it looks even thinner.

Western Digital Hybrid 5mm Hard Drive

The new drive is so thin that Western Digital had to build extra metal for the framing around the screw holes to keep the drive secure. Inside is a single platter sitting at 500GB. It’s possible that different versions of the drives will be built, depending on desired price points; some might have more flash memory installed than others. 

*UPDATE: I rechecked with Western Digital; this particular sample had 32GB of flash storage built in, but, depending on the OEM’s choices,  you might find a drive with anywhere from 8GB to 32GB of flash NAND.

Western Digital Hybrid 5mm Hard DriveWestern Digital Hybrid 5mm Hard Drive

Sitting next to the hybrid 5mm hard drive is Western Digital’s new 500GB Caviar Blue (being a speedy sort, the 5mm hybrid is branded as part of WD’s faster Caviar Black lineup). The Caviar Blue is just a wee bit thicker, coming in at 7mm. The hybrid hard drive, no surprise, is being billed as the perfect solution for the next wave of Ultrabook and Ultrabook-esque devices. The flash memory helps the laptop boot quickly, while the rotating storage allows OEMs to pack in lots of space at lower cost to the end user. 

How much will these drives cost? That’s not yet public information, though WD was careful to point out that channel partners will be receiving these new drives first, which means they’ll be shipping in new devices by the time you can get one as an upgrade.



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