Thanks to a breakthrough by Seagate, tablets with storage capacities comparable to PCs might just be on the horizon. The Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD is the company’s first HDD designed for use in tablets, and it could bring more capacity, using the same amount of power. And, most importantly, it’ll be cheaper.
The Ultra Mobile HDD is very thin, as it has to be to fit into the form factor of modern tablets. But, the storage capacity is anything but thin, starting at 500 GB. And, it’ll be cheaper to implement, while using the same amount of power.
How is that possible? Well, tablets have long used flash memory for storage, which is far more expensive than an HDD, which is why storage capacity has remained relatively low with tablets. It’s not that it’s impossible to stuff a ton of flash memory into a tablet, but that stuffing that much flash memory in would price too many people out. After all, there’s a reason tablet prices jump so much from a 16 GB model to a 32 GB model. HDDs are a much cheaper form of memory, but they’re bulkier and slower. To get comparable performance and power consumption, Seagate has implemented a strategy now used in many ultrabooks – a hybrid drive. The Ultra Mobile HDD would run in tandem with 8 GB of flash memory. Using the small bit of flash memory as a dynamic cache, the important and most-often used data would be stored on the faster flash memory, leaving the HDD open for your hoard of books, movies, music, or whatever you have. That dynamic cache would be managed by Seagate’s Dynamic Driver Software.
The result is a 500 GB HDD-8 GB flash memory duo with the same performance and power consumption as 64 GB of flash memory. Granted, with cloud storage becoming more widely used, huge hard drive capacities are becoming less important. But, that’s the beauty of the Ultra Mobile HDD – it’s even on performance, and cheaper – if you can have extra local storage with no downside, why not?