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Seagate unveils ‘world’s thinnest’ 7mm external hard drive

Seagate Technology on Sunday unveiled what it claims to be the world’s thinnest portable hard disk drive, the Seagate Seven. The new drive is made of stainless steel and has 500GB capacity. The manufacturer advertises its new product as the thinnest way to store half of terabyte of data. Being unique, the new HDD is clearly not really affordable, but it is not as expensive as ultra-thin NAND flash-based solutions.

The Seagate Seven external hard disk drive features SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface and, as the name suggests, is only 7mm thick. The product weighs 90 grams, which is less than typical smartphones do. Unfortunately, since the drive is not equipped with any wireless interfaces, it is not compatible with smartphones and tablets.

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The new Seven hard drive from Seagate is a unique external solution that uses a number of exclusive know-hows from the company. The design of the product resembles a bare HDD, which means that it does not contain an off-the-shelf hard drive, like other external storage products, but is a specially-built device that uses mechanisms from other hard drives. For example, the low profile motor technologies used in the “bare drive” were originally designed to include extreme Gyro handling capabilities with tablets and thin computing in mind.

The Seagate Seven is likely based on technologies originally developed for the Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDD with 500GB capacity that comes in 2.5” form-factor and is only 5mm thick. The drive sports 5400rpm spindle speed, 16MB cache buffer, Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface, sustained 100MB/s transfer rate as well as 5.6ms average latency. The drive consumes around 1.4W during typical operations as well as only 0.47W in idle mode.

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“Seagate Seven is designed to speak to this history, while looking forward to the future of where storage technology is headed,” said Mark Whitby, senior vice president of Seagate Branded Group. “We believe that Seagate Seven will resonate with those who want the latest trend in mechanical design while inspiring the user to create great experiences and memories.”

The Seagate Seven will be widely available in mid- to late-January for a suggested retail price of $99.99. Pre-orders can be made on Seagate.com and Amazon.com.

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KitGuru Says: While the Seagate Seven is clearly among the most technologically advanced storage solutions on the market, 500GB capacity is hardly a lot and is not sufficient for many use cases, especially keeping in mind that there are a lot of faster NAND flash-based storage devices of comparable capacity. On the other hand, if you are a road warrior with a MacBook Air and want to keep a small movie collection with you all the time, the Seagate Seven may be just what the doctor ordered…

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