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Big Jump For Tablet Storage: Seagate Intros 5mm Hard Disk For Tablets

samzenpus posted 1 year,10 days | from the give-me-more dept.

Data Storage 201

cold fjord writes "ZDNet reports, 'Seagate on Monday took the wraps off a hard drive designed for tablets that brings 7x the storage capacity of a 64GB device with the same performance as a Flash drive. The drive, the Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD, uses software to boost performance. The idea is that Android tablet manufacturers will use the Seagate drive, along with the company's mobile enablement kit and caching software, to up the storage. The 2.5-inch drive is 5 mm thin and weighs 3.3 ounces. As for capacity, the drive has 500GB---enough for 100,000 photos and 125,000 songs.' More at The Wall Street Journal."

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no thanks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800647)

no thanks. I'm more interested in moveing devices from mechanical to solid state, not the other way around.

Re:no thanks (1)

mlts (1038732) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800801)

Wonder how well the drive can take constant shocks and jostling that tablets are subject to. I may not be a HDD expert, but I wonder if just the tapping on a screen might be enough to cause a head crash, especially on a higher RPM drive.

Re:no thanks (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800849)

Yeah, the iPod was such a huge failure.

Re:no thanks (1)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801445)

Yes, but compared with what solid stat drives can do, it's a bad idea. Microdrives have been out for years, but outside of studio work, they were never very popular amongst photographers.

5mm? ARTICLE HEADLINE? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801681)

Sorry, folks, but these editors need to be keelhauled, boiled in oil, or tarred and feathered. When I see "5mm hard disk" in a headline that has no summary on the front page, I think that this is a micro-sized HDD that is 5mm wide. That would be an incredible jump in density! In fact, this is a STANDARD 2.5in sized HDD that is only 5mm thick. They have been making HDDs roughly this size FOR YEARS.

Occasionally, I come back here to read some "news," and I am quickly refreshed on why this site has sunken into the abyss.

Re:no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801181)

theoretically, at hight rpms an air cushion prevents the head from hitting the disc, along with 0g sensor (free fall) which deactivates the hdd to avoid (or reduce the probability) of hdd damage. I don't know how much vibration it can handle, though but I wouldn't go for an hdd based tablet. We are in the era of flash storage, why would anyone let aged technologies play an important role in new devices?

Re:no thanks (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801413)

why would anyone let aged technologies play an important role in new devices?

Cost and capabilities. Spinny disks will be a lot cheaper, and hold a lot more data. If that's what you need, and aren't as concerned about shocks, durability, longevity, or access speed, then 'yay disks'.

Places where these might come in useful: Low end larger-screen digital media players. Kiosks (think of the tap-your-phone-number-at-checkout loyalty programs.) Smaller shelf signs and advertising in stores, where unit cost is the limiting factor.

Don't get too hung up in the idea that "tablet" means the same thing to everyone. It doesn't have to mean "usage model". Sometimes it can just mean "useful shape".

Re:no thanks (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801343)

Wonder how well the drive can take constant shocks and jostling that tablets are subject to. I may not be a HDD expert, but I wonder if just the tapping on a screen might be enough to cause a head crash, especially on a higher RPM drive.

There is no way that tapping the screen would cause a head crash with any hard drive. Disks inside laptops would be dead too soon if that was the case. However if you drop the tablet on a floor, we can start talking about whether this kind of drive would be damaged. Obviously, flash memory will be better in that kind of situation. Of course there are other components to take into consideration too, such as the screen, which might crack when the tablet is dropped.

Re:no thanks (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800905)

no thanks. I'm more interested in moveing devices from mechanical to solid state, not the other way around.

Absolutely.

My old iPod I treat with utmost care because the little booger has a spinning disc in it. I've seen enough head crashes in my day I don't want one in something without a Field Service Tech a phone call away to handle. Also, I'm rather clumsy with some of my more delicate electronics (hence ordering an Otterbox Defender for my mobile phone) and have been known to damage things with shock.

Why not an SSD at this stage?!? Sure, it's a few extra bucks, but I wouldn't consider anything mechanical storage memory except in a RAID config in a static system.

Re:no thanks (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801113)

You can replace the spinny drive with Compact Flash in most cases.

Re:no thanks (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800927)

The original iPod had a small hard drive inside. It was the only way at the time to have a reasonable amount of storage. At that point in time, the iPod had around 10 GB of storage, which may not sound like a lot, but a lot of other MP3 players at the time had something like 64 MB of storage. Hardly even enough for a whole album. There's tons of laptops out there which don't have problems with mechanical drives. Any drop that would damage the drive would probably break something else as well, like the screen. Having a tablet with 500 GB of storage would really increase their usability.

Re:no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800979)

Guess what the current 160GB iPod classic has.

Re:no thanks (3, Funny)

SoCalChris (573049) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801001)

At that point in time, the iPod had around 10 GB of storage, which may not sound like a lot, but a lot of other MP3 players at the time had something like 64 MB of storage.

Less space than a Nomad.

Re:no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801373)

That joke is lame.

Also, it lacks wireless. ;)

Re:no thanks (1)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801465)

Yes and for the privilege of having less storage space, you get to pay hundreds more and put up with the fugly design.

Re:no thanks (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800961)

I actually want something to replace my ipod classic..

Re:no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801361)

But people actually used bought iPods.

Re:no thanks (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801475)

But people actually used bought iPods.

that's the point. my ipod classic still works.

can I buy anything, a phone or a tablet, that would have the same amount of storage for media? no, I can not, even if I buy the phone with most built in storage and stick in the biggest microsd I can find.

thus I can see a need for this. the hd needs to be spinning quite infrequently anyways

Re:no thanks (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801007)

no thanks. I'm more interested in moveing devices from mechanical to solid state, not the other way around.

I suspect that you'll have enough change left over to wipe your tears away. They aren't even going to pretend that it's as good; but it'll be markedly cheaper and less awful than those "Just carry an HDD in a battery powered wifi enclosure and access it with our App!" abortions that people market as capacity expansion...

Re:no thanks (2)

Tough Love (215404) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801399)

I feel the same way, mainly because I don't store a lot of really bulky data on my tablet. That would be mainly videos and high res jpgs from dslr. I don't load videos because I don't want to feed the hollwoody mafia, nor do I want to get into surreptious downloading, and I don't want to deal with constant out of space on the flash drive. I don't use the tablet with my camera because connectors are a pain and Google doesn't build camera connectivity into Android because the leading project in that space is GPL and Google culture is so allergic to GPL that they would rather weaken Android than comply with the license (see "don't be evil"). Therefore, to access my camera I have to buy an app and put up with slow bug fixes, upsell nags and the usual commercial drill. Sad. I really had hoped that an Android tablet would be a great complement to my camera, but that now seems far in the future for no good reason. Finally, the fact that the tablet makes no noise is really important to me: no fan, no vibrating disk. Not to mention minimal power suck when idle and minimal heat.

That's just me, I'm not the typical consumer. Out there in consumer land many buyers just want huge space for movies at a reasonable price. Mechanical spinning media still dominates that space with dollars per gigabyte hanging in there around 15 times less than solid state and typical capacity about 15 times higher. That's compelling for some folks, just be careful not to drop the thing on the floor.

Lots of storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800657)

that you can't access because the battery is dead.

Too bad tablets aren't modular (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800665)

With PCs, a piece of hardware could start of as an add-on for enthusiasts, then be integrated by an OEM if it was gaining traction. (Accelerated 3d graphics, for example, caught on this way). But tablets and cellphones are so monolithic that end-user swapping of storage is practically impossible.

The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (5, Funny)

solafide (845228) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800675)

Couldn't we just say 500gb up front and be done with it, instead of having a bogus multiplier on a meaningless size? What's next, "this hard drive holds 30 Library of Congresses, which are each 6x the capacity of a regular library?"

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800811)

Couldn't we just say 500gb up front and be done with it, instead of having a bogus multiplier on a meaningless size? What's next, "this hard drive holds 30 Library of Congresses, which are each 6x the capacity of a regular library?"

Oh c'mon now, don't you always size your hard drive purchases based on the number of (circa-1997 quality) songs it holds? I thought all hardcore geeks did that.

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801097)

Oh c'mon now, don't you always size your hard drive purchases based on the number of (circa-1997 quality) songs it holds? I thought all hardcore geeks did that.

That's 125 Ksongs to you!

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800817)

I don't know, but 640G would be enough for anyone.

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (2)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800865)

It's designed to replace the 64G of flash storage used in existing tablets, so comparing the new product with the old one is not unreasonable.

If your new Library of Congress was designed to fit in exactly the same space and have the same weight as a regular library, then saying that it has 6x the capacity of a regular library would be a useful point of comparison.

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800993)

Could you restate your outrage in the form of a song?

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801329)

Burns, con el corazon de perro,
Burns, el diablo con dinero...

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (1)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800997)

So it's smaller than one square Rhode Island, but holds more data the the R.I. State Library?

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801409)

And whatever happened to the monkeys-typing standard? You kids have no respect for tradition.

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801499)

Couldn't we just say 500gb up front and be done with it, instead of having a bogus multiplier on a meaningless size? What's next, "this hard drive holds 30 Library of Congresses, which are each 6x the capacity of a regular library?"

Too close to reality to need meaningless facts...

What is the image size in that newfangled 40MP phone that Microsoft
and Nokia are shilling for? Link a tablet to the auto-down load of
the phone and in no time the 500GB is filled up. Compound that
with HD video and this is nothing.

The resolution of a quality image on an iPad retina display makes a
decent screen to crop images for but no one tosses the master file
so 40MPx24bitcolordepth is a lot even when JPEG encoded.

Clearly the 100,000 photos could fill up the device to the point that
the "and 125000 songs" compressed by some lousy lossy compression
trick statement is misleading.

And while I am at it, there was a 13" drive by IBM and others way back when.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Kittyhawk_microdrive [wikipedia.org] so aside from capacity
this is OLD NEWS.

Re:The hell is 7x a 64gb drive? (5, Funny)

dpidcoe (2606549) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801587)

obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1257/ [xkcd.com]

SSD or GTFO (4, Insightful)

babtras (629678) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800677)

I'm not keen to have spinning parts in a device that I drop a couple times a day.

Re:SSD or GTFO (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800833)

You drop your tablet a couple times a day? You'd better keep the fuck away from anything I own.

Don't drop one on your nose. (1)

Theovon (109752) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801437)

The other night, I was watching Netflix in bed on my iPad. It was propped up on my chest, and I was using one hand to hold it upright. Well, at one point, my hand slipped, and the iPad flopped at what must have been light speed right onto my nose. Ever been hit on the nose by something hard? My eyes were watering, and the pain didn't go away for what seemed like millenia.

Anyhow, I'm not sure what might have happened to a spinning hard disk in this case, but I AM sure my nose would have hurt just as much.

Re:SSD or GTFO (1)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800899)

So don't drop it a couple times a day. </MARX>

Re:SSD or GTFO (2)

babtras (629678) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801065)

Unfortunately, tying a string around my wrist and attaching it to the tablet isn't very convenient or stylish. Butter fingers is a curse I just have to live with

Re:SSD or GTFO (1)

Score Whore (32328) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801071)

There's "drop" and there's "drop". I don't drop my tablets on the floor on a daily basis. But I pick them up and set them down dozens of times each day. Sometimes I set them down flat, sometimes leaned against a book or sofa leg. Sometimes I throw them onto my bed or sofa. And occasionally I do drop them.

My desktop I pick up and set down approximately zero times a day and my laptop I pick up and set down two or three times a day and mostly it's not running when I do that.

Re:SSD or GTFO (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800971)

I'm not keen to have spinning parts in a device that I drop a couple times a day.

Speaking of keen, ever wonder why you continue to buy expensive shit...that you drop a couple times a day?

Sometimes, it's less about the tablet, and more about the owner...redefining the word "user".

Re:SSD or GTFO (1)

adisakp (705706) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801571)

I'm not keen to have spinning parts in a device that I drop a couple times a day.

So you replace the tablet often??? Tablets screens will crack on a single drop if the screen lands on a hard surface [youtube.com] or usually shatter if the tablet lands on an edge as well.

Really? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800683)

"100,000 photos and 125,000 songs"

Technically inclined people do not measure storage capacity in this way. This is pure marketing babble for Common Joe who doesn't know what filesize is.

Re:Really? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800749)

He said 500GB. He gave the technically-inclined measurement, and then the Common Joe measurement. What's the problem?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800793)

Welcome to slashdot.

Re:Really? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801055)

He gave the technically-inclined measurement, and then the Common Joe measurement. What's the problem?

The problem is he's given it as if they've achieved "7x the storage capacity of a 64GB device", which is quite disingenuous, because the two aren't the same.

It's kind of like saying this dump truck has 13x the storage capacity of your sedan -- which might be true, but you're talking about entirely different things. Of course, there are drawbacks to that dump truck and you can't use it for all of the same applications as your sedan.

A 64GB flash storage is an arbitrary thing -- so you're only 3.5x better than a 128GB iPad for instance, but it's 250 times better than a 2GB USB stick. Which pretty much makes the numbers meaningless to compare.

This entire article could be written as "HDDs getting smaller, could also be used in tablets".

Re:Really? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800935)

...yes and something you need to be able to express the moment you encounter someone that is not a computing professional.

Although I tend to express these things in terms of movies or TV episodes as that is what tends to take up most of the space on my own 500G Archos.

Plus 'danes can't relate to 100K photos any more then they can relate to half a terabye.

Backward thinking?? (2)

rdsingh (643439) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800719)

Why?

Re:Backward thinking?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800827)

As they say - when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. These guys just have spinning platters.

Re:Backward thinking?? (1)

Vicarius (1093097) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800855)

Why?

Folks at Seagate also want to eat.

Moving parts in a device I throw around (2)

BitZtream (692029) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800725)

Literally, throw tables on tables, drop them on the floor, all sorts of shit.

Seagate needs to get on the SSD bandwagon or shut up. A tablet with moving parts is pretty retarded.

Re:Moving parts in a device I throw around (2)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800981)

Sounds a lot like what a kid might subject a disk based iPod or Archos to.

We've already been there and done that. Spinning rust is not nearly as fragile as the fashinistas of tech want you to think.

"bandwagon" is the word for it. Usually associated with mindless following and bad rhetoric.

Sounds like a bad idea ... (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800727)

These things better be really reliable, because a tablet is going to get used in all sorts of angles, is likely to be jostled around a lot more, and might find itself in a case where the accelerometer of the device is being used to control a game.

SSD has the benefit of not having moving parts ... a tablet or a phone sounds like the last place you'd want a spinning platter to be used.

And 3oz is, what, just shy of a quarter pound? What does the 64GB of flash memory we're comparing this to weigh?

Sounds like trying to turn a tablet into a laptop or something.

Re:Sounds like a bad idea ... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800913)

Depends on how it's packaged. The 32GB microSD card I have at hand weighs ~half a gram. I think an eMMC package has a bunch more pins, and thus a bit more wrapped around the die or dice, so maybe several multiples of that. A whole bunch of discrete packages (either because you really need the speed or you are using low density stuff) might be more.

Re:Sounds like a bad idea ... (1)

SolarCanine (892620) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800933)

...yes, because the hard drive based iPods never worked out.

Oh, wait.

Re:Sounds like a bad idea ... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801039)

And 3oz is, what, just shy of a quarter pound?

With or without cheese?

Re:Sounds like a bad idea ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801149)

In Europe, it's a Royale hard drive.

Re:Sounds like a bad idea ... (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801581)

....snip...And 3oz is, what, just shy of a quarter pound?....snip....

Since when is missing by 25% "just shy".

N.B. You must ante up 33.333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333%+ a bit to break even.

Moving parts is undesirable for mobility (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800753)

There's are very practical and unchangeable reasons why mobile devices use flash devices for storage instead of hard drives... and I'm really kind of surprised that Seagate would not have already realized this.

Moving parts means that the device is inherently more fragile... less resilient to shock, and introduces points of physical failure that don't exist with solid state storage.

A spinning hard drive means that you're going to be wasting a whole lot of energy driving the motor... probably more than order of magnitude more than what it takes to use flash storage. This means that you will need bulkier and heavier batteries, which makes the device less practical for carrying around everywhere.

Seagate... no. Just no.

Re:Moving parts is undesirable for mobility (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800969)

I have this vague memory of a device called the 'iPod Mini' being wildly popular and widely considered portable...

Re:Moving parts is undesirable for mobility (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801011)

We have an iPod 2 that is still functional and for awhile had more storage capacity than any of our fancy new smartphones.

Re:Moving parts is undesirable for mobility (2)

WarJolt (990309) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801075)

Moving parts means that the device is inherently more fragile... less resilient to shock, and introduces points of physical failure that don't exist with solid state storage.

Disk drives act like gyroscopes, however smaller drives can stop faster and have less rotational momentum at the same RPM.
Flash is shock sensitive too. I've ruined USB flash sticks by dropping them. I hate moving parts too, but I think it's possible to make a mechanical drive less shock sensitive then flash with the proper safety features. Your experience with standard drives isn't really relevant to these new mobile drives because they are very different physically.

I say give them a chance and we will see how they perform.

Re:Moving parts is undesirable for mobility (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801557)

Flash is NOT shock sensitive, check out this [digitaljournalist.org] link for proof. Cheap USB sticks with bad sodder jobs or cheap PCB's might be subject to shock but the flash itself is most certainly NOT.

Big fail (2)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800761)

When everyone is moving from magnetic storage to solid state storage, Seagate is going against the tide.

Storage media with moving parts are bad enough for laptops, let alone tablets that get moved around a lot, dropped, sat on, etc.

If Seagate suits really want to see this thing fly, it'd be much more interesting to put these drives into laptop for some badass RAID arrays.

Re:Big fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801481)

RAID-0? *ducks*

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800785)

Firstly, going from solid state back to a mechanical drive is a step backward.
Secondly, Seagate. Enough said.

Will the be as unreliable as CF-HD? (1)

Kenja (541830) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800807)

I tried using one of the compact flash format hard drive many moons ago. Stupid things would break with the slightest bump.

"Solid State" means more than just power savings (1)

pla (258480) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800859)

A device with no moving parts counts as basically indestructible (under normal circumstances) as long as the screen doesn't crack. Cracking the screen takes a hell of a lot more force than crashing a HDD head into the platter whirring just a few microns below it.

And as another perk, strong magnetic fields largely don't affect flash, until you start getting into strengths that pose a health risk to the human using the tablet. The standard method of wiping a HDD uses a relatively weak (on the "causes human damage" scale of things) 60hz magnetic field.

Re:"Solid State" means more than just power saving (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801053)

You would think so, but I beg to differ. I've had 2 Kobo eReaders fail on me, both in less than 6 months (second was a replacement unit). In the first case, the thing just got stuck on a reboot loop, so that's some kind of firmware error as far as I could figure, still unfixable from my point of view. Second was half the screen being stuck, which is a hardware error. I've had plenty of solid state devices die over the years. Possibly more often than I've had mechanical devices fail.

Re:"Solid State" means more than just power saving (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801207)

Which of those problems would not have been just as likely with a Mechanical HDD installed? Neither of those sound like they are likely to be related to the drive being solid state.

Re:"Solid State" means more than just power saving (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801675)

A device with no moving parts counts as basically indestructible (under normal circumstances) as long as the screen doesn't crack.

Price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44800907)

The WSJ article says:
"a mobile device using 8GB of flash and the Ultra Mobile HDD and Dynamic Data Driver software have the power consumption equal to that of a 64GB tablet and the performance equal to that of a 16GB tablet-- while costing less than either"
That means that it would cost less than an 8GB flash drive, which I find very hard to believe since even a 16GB UHS 1 / class 10 drive is about $16 now. I can't see Seagate selling these things for $10.

The "fragility" posts seem a little off to me... (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800917)

...because of surface-to-volume and scaling considerations, the smaller these things get, the less fragile they get. I dropped my iPod Mini (rotating drive) at least as often as I dropped my current flash-memory iPod and never had a problem. Yes, battery life is an issue. Quite possibly, service life might be an issue (bearing wear).

Seagate is claiming [seagate.com] 400 Gs maximum operating shock. I, um, gee, well truthfully I have no idea what that means in practical terms but it seems like a big number to me. They are claiming 80 Gs for the first desktop drive I looked at.

Re:The "fragility" posts seem a little off to me.. (2)

nabsltd (1313397) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801405)

Seagate is claiming [seagate.com] 400 Gs maximum operating shock. I, um, gee, well truthfully I have no idea what that means in practical terms but it seems like a big number to me.

A 100G impact will turn a human being into a collection of loosely assembled parts with an infinitesimal chance for restoration to correct function.

A 400G impact will turn a human being into goo.

Re:The "fragility" posts seem a little off to me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801609)

Re:The "fragility" posts seem a little off to me.. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801809)

Well, typical ceramic/glass/china dishes are generally good for 100-125Gs of impact force. So, about 3x as durable as your mom's good tableware. Which is good, but probably not drive-away-with-it-on-the-top-of-your-car good.

Not Needed (1)

Oysterville (2944937) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800921)

Seems like Seagate is merely trying to breathe some last breaths into a dying technology. I cannot fathom the need to have a half gig of storage on a smart phone at this point in the technology, and when it does potentially become necessary flash memory will still be the better option.

What's the big deal ? (1)

tmark (230091) | 1 year,10 days | (#44800951)

There are already at least 480GB (close enough to 500, in books) **mSATA** SSD drives (Mushkin made the first I know of), which makes the drive in this post positively gargantuan.

Re:What's the big deal ? (1)

hjf (703092) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801537)

yes but how much do they cost?

Re:What's the big deal ? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801803)

Price. A 480GB mSATA card runs $360+ retail. These drives will be around $90 for 500GB, a quarter of the price.

so why not use a standard (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801059)

and call for msata to be added to tablets?
There are already 512 gig drives on the msata scale and they're tiny (51 x 30 x 0.8mm) so, why re-introduce mechanical harddrives which are larger?

Re:so why not use a standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801191)

$50 vs. $500.

Re:so why not use a standard (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801521)

There are already 512 gig drives on the msata scale and they're tiny (51 x 30 x 0.8mm) so, why re-introduce mechanical harddrives which are larger?

Cost. Your 512GB SSD is unlikely to cost $50 or so that something like this spinning rust would.

In fact, most 512GB SSDs cost around $500 or so, so unless you want to double your tablet price and then some (I'm sure Microsoft would love to tell you how well their Surfaces sold back when they were $900), using a huge SSD isn't really practical.

Spinning rust has been cheaper and unless you go very small (1.8" drives are dead because SSDs have gotten smaller and cheaper than spinning rust versions).

A step in the right direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801063)

These tablets would be better with more storage, but that's not all they're missing. For one, it'd be nice to have a full keyboard. A more precise pointing device could be useful as well, perhaps attached to the keyboard. A real operating system like Microsoft Windows would be good too.

Imagine a tablet with a keyboard, a trackpad, hard-drive, powerful x86 CPU, and running Windows!

Re:A step in the right direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801335)

Nah. No-one would buy it.

Re:A step in the right direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801455)

Best troll ever.

Same performance as flash? Ha! (1)

gman003 (1693318) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801079)

Putting 8GB of flash cache in front of a 5400RPM hard drive is not going to give you the performance of a pure flash drive. I don't care how good your caching algorithm is or how many rigged benchmarks you win (comparing only on sequential read/write doesn't count!), you're not going to be as fast. Particularly since flash scales performance with size - a 64GB SSD will be faster than an 8GB SSD of the same type, ignoring any hard drives it may be a cache for.

Will it be "SSD-like performance"? Probably, yeah. If their caching algorithm isn't complete shit, it'll probably be somewhere in the upper half of the two orders of magnitude that separate flash and disc. But "within an order of magnitude of" and "equal" are not at all the same thing.

Garbage marketing from Seagate (1)

m.dillon (147925) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801109)

I wouldn't call them desperate but I think they are seriously underestimated the intelligence level of their customers.

-Matt

Re:Garbage marketing from Seagate (1)

hjf (703092) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801595)

what does this have to do with intelligence?

most people i know can't be bothered with "secondary storage". and 32-64GB of storage is "too little". i know at least 2 persons who would like to carry their whole movie collection in their laptop so they bought CD-bay-to-HDD-bay converters to let them install a second 500GB or 1TB disk in their laptops.

NOT ENOUGH FOR CMDR TACO'S TUNEZ !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801115)

He has every mp3 ever put on the internet, so he has bragged.

Confusing marketing (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801273)

"The idea is that Android tablet manufacturers will use the Seagate drive, along with the company's mobile enablement kit and caching software, to up the storage."

They will use the "enablement kit" to "up the storage." Does that mean it's not really 500GB, but some smaller capacity that is made to be 500GB through software?

Maybe they just licensed DBLSPACE.BIN from Microsoft?

Units, much? (3, Insightful)

Doofus (43075) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801291)

I love the jumble of Imperial and SI units in the summary. Great work!

Re:Units, much? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801393)

I love the jumble of Imperial and SI units in the summary. Great work!

Maybe he's British? They like those kinds of inconsistencies.

Benefits? (1)

Burning1 (204959) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801347)

I'm genuinely interested in hearing what the benefits of this are. It seems like mSATA drives are more or less on parity with this in terms of size and capacity, but have the benefit of increased longevity, reduced noise, and lower power consumption.

I honestly think spinning hard disks are going to go the way of CRTs within the next 5 to 10 years. And there's a high probability Segate will go with it.

You young whippersnappers... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801383)

Back in my day, we used a ragged piece of orange duct tape and a portable mechanical 320 GB seagate for our tablet storage and we liked it.

Non-starter (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801535)

Have you seen a teardown of a tablet? There is no space for a 2.5 inch drive. Tablets are mostly battery, SoC, and radios - there is no space for 2.5 inches of hard drive. Not going to happen unless it goes into a 12 inch or larger tablet.

Silly me (1)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,10 days | (#44801691)

I thought they were talking about a 5mm diameter hard drive, seeing as hard drive sizes have been reported in diameter for as long as I can remember. I was wondering how they were going to engineer something that small and still have a useful storage size. :)

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44801771)

Seagate just started down the path towards becoming irrelevant.

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