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Seagate Moves Into Mobile Tablet Storage, Intros New Ultra Mobile HDD Offering 500GB of Memory

seagate ultra hdd

When you think of mobile storage and in terms of GB, there are only a few options that really come to mind: 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 (if the device is extra fancy). It has been that way for a while now, but Seagate, a popular maker of storage devices for PCs, is looking to change that. Today they have announced a new line of Hard Disk Drives (HDD) aimed straight for the growing mobile tablet market.

Seagate’s new Ultra Mobile HDDs have been slimmed down to the point where OEMs can start using them inside of the tablet’s that we love. What hasn’t been slimmed down is the storage size. These new HDDs offer up 500GB of space and Seagate promises all the performance of flash memory. There are other reasons why a spinning HDD might not work in a tablet, but Seagate says they have that covered. They say they have “heavily tested” these drives for heat, shock management, vibration and gyroscopic motion to make sure that they will work under any situation. The tablet market has been steadily growing over the past years and Seagate wants to provide this new market with PC-like storage options if it is needed.

Do you need or want 500GB of storage in your tablet?

Seagate Redefines the Tablet Market

Ultra Mobile HDD Solution Empowers Tablets with 500GB of Storage and the Performance of a Flash Device

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX), a world leader in storage solutions, today took the wraps off the new Seagate® Ultra Mobile HDD designed exclusively for mobile devices. Integrated with the Seagate Mobile Enablement Kit which includes Seagate’s Dynamic Data™ Driver software technology, the new storage solution delivers up to 7x the storage capacity of a traditional 64GB tablet with the same power, performance and reliability of a flash device.

“When comparing side by side a tablet and a portable PC, today’s tablets are trading off storage capacity in order to realize a thin and light form factor device and long battery life”

“Coupling an ultra-thin, high-capacity HDD with software designed to optimize integration into tablets at a value-add price has allowed us to deliver a truly ground-breaking solution, enabling our partners to reimagine the mobile device,” said Steve Luczo, president, CEO and chairman of Seagate. “By empowering our OEMs with this revolutionary new technology, we have invited the industry to re-think the mobile market making this offering a true game-changer in the world of storage.”

“When comparing side by side a tablet and a portable PC, today’s tablets are trading off storage capacity in order to realize a thin and light form factor device and long battery life,” noted John Rydning, IDC’s research vice president for hard disk drives and semiconductors. “Seagate’s new Mobile Enablement Kit will bring PC-like storage capacity to future thin and light tablet designs, and position Seagate as a potential storage solutions provider to the fast-growing tablet market.”

Seagate has addressed several key areas beyond a standard laptop HDD to optimize mobile applications with the Ultra Mobile HDD and Mobile Enablement Kit. These areas include shock management, heat and vibration and gyroscopic motion— all of which have been heavily tested to ensure the drive delivers the best experience in a tablet solution.

Seagate Dynamic Data Driver Software

Keeping pace with today’s mobile storage demands presents other challenges as well including power consumption requirements, device drops by consumers and user demands. Merging the new Ultra Mobile HDD with the Dynamic Data Driver software alleviates these obstacles enabling OEMs to comfortably fit high-capacity storage into mobile devices.

Seagate’s use of Dynamic Data Driver software addresses these challenges through a combination of system design considerations. Reduced power consumption and improved performance are achieved through an intelligent caching design that is implemented at the system level. As a result 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.

The software provides drive protection through the use of enhanced motion sensor and thermal monitoring algorithms to control drive access and avoid usage conditions that might harm it. The drive is so well insulated that in many cases a dropped device’s screen would break before its hard disk drive.

To further reinforce reliability for mobile devices, the Ultra Mobile HDD integrates Seagate’s own Zero Gravity™ Sensor providing better shock management. Incorporated power modes support the drive in sleep, standby and idle enabling it to consume as low as 0.14W and support the long battery life demanded by tablets. Its slim, rugged design allows it to be utilized in new emerging applications like convertible and detachable storage.

Leveraging the company’s experience with ultra-portable applications like iPods, MP3 players, and handheld video recorders, the newly-engineered 2.5-inch drive is just 5mm thin while weighing in at a mere 3.3oz— about the same as a light bulb. Featuring up to 500GB of capacity, it delivers the highest areal density available in a small, ultra-thin form factor while supporting over 100,000 photos, 125,000 songs or 62 hours of high-definition video and movies.

The Seagate Mobile Enablement Kit includes the Ultra Mobile HDD, Dynamic Data Driver software, and an optional customized reference design which allows HDD-powered tablets to transparently deliver high-capacity storage space to an end user in a mobile solution. The kit is currently designed to support the Android operating system.

The Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD will be available separately and as part of the Seagate Mobile Enablement Kit. Dynamic Data Driver software not sold separately. For more information on both products please visit http://seagate.com/www/mobilekit.

  • zurginator

    I don’t think people would go for having HDDs in their tablets – they’re used to the comparatively instantaneous speed of NAND.

  • master94

    And yet no OEM will use more than 64Gb. :(

  • Michael Hammond

    I like how they skip over how much they add to the mobile device’s weight …. how much heavier does a mechanical hard drive add to a tablet, especially with them getting lighter and thinner? Slim or not, it’s going to be a significant and noticeable change.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    I’d say the correct term here is “storage,” not “memory.”

  • jadeveon da destroyer

    im sure they will sell this too for a small fortune, get a few more companies with this tech might be affordable

  • socalrailroader

    I see a lot of comments about HDD’s, but do you really think Seagate is stupid or something? I mean, really, give them a bit of credit for understanding drives and storage, I bet they know a lot more than most of us on here ;)

  • socalrailroader

    I’m ready, bring it on Seagate!

  • Alan Paone

    This’ll probably be cool for photographers and movie pirates. I could easily sync my entire Rdio collection to one of these and never worry about connectivity again. Without an SSD for the OS and apps this’ll make for really sluggish tablets though.

  • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 Mr Frodo24

    Make it SSD, and I’ll start drooling.

  • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

    Just give us microSD card slots and call it a day………

  • BrothaDave

    should have been flash based, one good drop or jarring move and you’ll have issues for sure

  • JDOGG

    Pass on the HDD…SDD is the way to go all around…I would seriously pass on a device if it had a HDD in it. Also not sure why we still see devices with 8GB or 16GB or even 32GB as an option, we are living in a digital world and storage space is ALWAYS an issue…64GB and higher only please! Also, don’t tell me “put it in the could” because the could doesn’t work when you are on a plane for hours with no WiFi signal or traveling across country with limited signal.

    • Adrynalyne

      Are you prepared for the price hike that goes along with extra Flash based storage? Are we ready for 699 tablets and 399 phones on contract?

      That IMO, is the bigger issue. The price needs to be lower before it becomes an attractive option.

  • Jared Denman

    Only iPhone lovers think that storage and memory are the same thing.

  • sagisarius

    Tablet… meh, I’d love these in ultralight laptops.

  • radiohead14

    trade off: battery life.. just no

    • Ian

      Well it could be interesting to see what improvements they have made, I’m sure there are ways to ‘sleep’ the drive so it shuts off, using no power.

  • Jonathan Paul

    I don’t think I would instantly turn my nose up at a decent tablet with good battery, good build, solid OS, 64 flash and 500gb HDD. I think the added storage could work pretty well. Just as long as the tablet does not ONLY have HDD.

  • Razma

    so if a phone is $200 for 16GB and $300 for 32GB, does that mean that a 500GB phone will cost around $3200? lol

    • Adrynalyne

      Nah. HDD tech is a lot less expensive than NAND.

      • Razma

        that is true, still, twas a joke

    • chris420o

      yeah like adrynalyne said hdd tech is WAY less expensive that flashdrives…i been wanting to buy a 256gb samsung ssd for my desktop pc for a boot drive and for my most used files n games and my 500gb hdd for storage but their so damn expensive…for the price of the ssd i can get like 5tb of hdd storage

      • Razma

        yeah, was a joke. and i pretty much have a similar setup as you were saying. got a 256 SSD for my OS and I have a 2TB HDD for storage, but its a 6GB/s version. I had a 64GB SSD originally but it was terrible having such limited space, i definitely recommend at least a 256, never have to really worry

        • Adrynalyne

          I would kill for a larger SSD in my laptop. Currently using a 128GB, but I only paid 50 bucks for it. I look at the 256GB prices and my mind starts to wander to other things I rather pay that much money for.

        • chris420o

          kinda glad u mentioned this bc i been thinking of just diving into the 128gb drive bc its over 100 bucks cheaper…but i havent done it bc i feel id regret it…even though windows8 takes only 60-70gb full install…i still rather teh 256

  • mustbepbs

    Just what I want in my MOBILE DEVICE, mechanical parts that are susceptible to impact and moving parts that generate heat.

    Sorry, flash storage is the only way to go for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

    • chris420o

      heats the only thing id be concerned about

      • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

        You wouldn’t be concerned about impact at all? I figured that would be the number one priority seeing as I drop my phone / tablet at LEAST once a day (maybe I’m just clumsy).

        • sirmeili

          Most drives meant for portable devices (laptops) have accelerometer in them and they park the drive (hopefully) before the device hits the ground.

          • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

            But the thing is mobile devices are constantly being jarred around and dropped and they get dropped from different heights than your laptop or netbook (where the accelerometer enabled hard drives have had big success). The mobile devices would have to have a much less sensitive system put in place which would mean a longer reaction time and there really isn’t no time to spare when its falling ~3-4 feet from a pocket. Not to mention most systems only park the heads, they don’t have time to stop the actual spinning platers in time so its much harder to see a device with fragile metal platers spinning at 5400rpms surviving a drop onto the concrete flooring. I would personally still prefer flash storage instead…

            Just my $0.02

    • jamdev12

      You need these to run Windows. Android and iOS don’t need this much.

  • geedee82

    I feel like that bear in the picture, “HOW ABOUT NO”

    • socalrailroader

      How about YES.

  • michael bourgoin

    and the RPM on these will be what? rather less storage and SSD

  • Droidzilla

    They had me at HDD!

    Wait, sorry; I meant they lost me at HDD.

  • joejoe5709

    Hmmmm… and will it cost $1000? No thanks. At this point in the game 500GB is beyond overkill for a tablet for the average consumer. Heck, 128GB sounds pretty damn nice. That’ll hold several movies, a couple days worth of music, all the apps you could want and still have space left over for backups. I’ll take that if it didn’t raise the average price much. Also despite what they say I’m not thrilled with a hard drive in my mobile devices. I know it’s not apples to apples (pun intended), but my 2nd gen iPod suffered several hard drive failures from drops and heat.

  • PhoenixPath

    No. 1000 times, No.

    Spinning platters and mobile devices do not mix.

    Want more memory, start putting 256GB SSD’s in ‘em.

    • Cory

      Agreed. Also, the last thing I want to see in my battery stats is an entry above “Display” for “HDD”.

      • michael arazan

        Laptop market is moving to SSD why the hell would the tablet market want this, unless they ae going to under cut the pricing to something ridiculous

    • chris420o

      which would cost an extra 300 bucks on top of your already 600+ device

      • PhoenixPath

        More like $150, but thanks so much for pointing that out to anyone who might have thought SSD drives were free. :-S

        Whew. Imagine all of the confusion you just cleared up…

        (You don’t think these 500Gb platter drives will be free, do you???)

    • Big_EZ

      We should at least be seeing 128gb options.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      HDD’s have come a long way

      • PhoenixPath

        Indeed they have. SSDs are still better for mobile devices.

    • Luigi90210

      Memory != storage

      A SSD is storage not memory, memory is RAM

      • PhoenixPath

        *laughing*

        Yep.

  • Adrynalyne

    Regarding the topic title, HDD storage should never be referred to as memory…we aren’t talking about NAND here.

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    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      To be fair, that’s how most manufactures label it, and what people have come to know. They know memory, and RAM.

      • TheBigNoob

        I don’t know anyone that labels storage as memory and vice versa. If you’re a system engineer and your boss tells you to provision a server with 64GB of memory, I think he’d be pretty disappointed if you put only a spinning hard drive in the machine.

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          I’m referring to tablets and phones, obviously in the server/PC arena people know it as storage, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

          • Adrynalyne

            Tablets and phones DO use memory for storage.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#NAND_flash

            However, they are NOT HDD. Hard drives have memory included, but is is used as a buffer, and cache, not storage.

            This article is clearly about using HDD tech in a tablet.

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          • TheBigNoob

            You’re right Geoff. We’re talking about storage, not memory.

      • Adrynalyne

        I’ve heard of consumers doing it, not manufacturers. It doesn’t make it correct either way.

    • AETAaAS

      Strictly speaking, hard drives are memory. Granted we think about memory as RAM more of the time but go back to the days when the distinction between volatile and non-volatile memory was important and hard drives realize their ‘memory’ category.

      • Adrynalyne

        Hard drives are memory as much as a notebook filled with notes is.

        The notebook is filled with stored memories, but the notebook is not memory itself. Recalling memory to use it requires someone to read the notebook (storage).

        HDD is definitely not memory.

        • Jarred Sutherland

          Agreed. As stated, HDD != memory.

        • AETAaAS

          That is a slightly strange point and really points to semantics. But similarly it could be said that we all have memories of elephants which we can recall to our working memory, but at the same time those memories are not constantly accessed and remain in our brains as memories.

          • Adrynalyne

            That just illustrates my point. You don’t recall memory into memory.

          • AETAaAS

            Uhm… You can have memories both in your long term memory and in your working memory. It’s like loading a program from your hard drive into your RAM.

          • Adrynalyne

            Long term memory would be the equivalent of NRAM.

            HDD = storage container that you store your memories so you can remember later because you will forget it otherwise at some point.

          • AETAaAS

            Yes, so hard drive is still memory. It remembers things. Even NVRAM has the word memory in it.

          • Adrynalyne

            Do you consider writing something down memory, or storage?

            I am glad that manufacturers don’t use your logic. Can you imagine buying a computer with 8GB of memory and…2TB of memory?

          • AETAaAS

            Depends on the context. It might be memory if it is part of an active process like solving an equation or storage if it’s going to be a diary. Either way, it is a reflection of memory and not a replacement.

          • Adrynalyne

            Reflection of memory.

            How can memory be a reflection of itself? Because it isn’t.

            Storage is a reflection of memory.

          • AETAaAS

            It is a reflection because what you write down is essentially what is in your working memory. ‘Reflection’ seemed the most appropriate way to uhm… reflect this. :p

          • Adrynalyne

            So what you are saying is, I am storing my memory to be recalled in a storage device.

            Got it.

          • AETAaAS

            Good, because the brain is a storage device and a working memory. :p

          • Adrynalyne

            Yet, with brain damage, memory can be destroyed while the contents are still stored. We know this, because brain damaged patients can sometime remember things from the past.

            Trying to remember = pulling something from storage.

          • AETAaAS

            That storage is still considered ‘memory’. Doctors wonder how is a patient’s memory. Not their storage. xD

          • Adrynalyne

            Lets put an end to this.

            Would you buy something that said it had 8GB of memory and 2TB of memory? Or would you pass on because clearly the seller is clueless?

            I would pass on. Call it what you like, it is not correct nomenclature.

          • AETAaAS

            And I’m just saying that historically when programming meant punch cards and overnight runs of even basic calculations, many things were considered non-volatile memory, this distinction still rings true today but the use of flash in the non-volatile memory field is so comprehensively dominant because of the cost, space, reliability and performance issues associated with hard drives in this use scenario that we have almost forgotten the term’s roots.

          • Adrynalyne

            However, this isn’t a historical article, is it?

            We categorize things differently now. Just like yes, cars and trucks are vehicles, but a car != truck.

            Women and men are Humans, however woman != man.

            People who refer to HDD as memory do it out of ignorance.

          • AETAaAS

            I’m not understanding your last analogy. Yes this is not a historical article, however the point remains that the use of the word ‘memory’ is not incorrect.

          • Adrynalyne

            Then keep using the word memory to describe HDD capacity, ok?

            Whatever floats your boat…

            Now if you don’t use the word memory to describe HDD capacity, then you are just being pedantic.

          • AETAaAS

            I already said that memory is commonly not used to refer to hard drives twice and I do use storage to talk about hard drives. All I’m saying is that it is not wrong to also call hard drives memory.

          • Adrynalyne

            You argue this but you yourself wouldn’t call it memory because it is not the accepted nomenclature for it. Very pedantic.

          • AETAaAS

            Only because the author was being attacked despite being technically correct.

          • Adrynalyne

            Not using accepted nomenclature is technically not being technically correct. ;)
            Again, the use of the word memory to describe HDD storage size is out of ignorance. He didn’t do it to be technically correct.

          • AETAaAS

            ‘Accepted nomenclature’ is independent of the fact that hard drives can still be classed as discussed above.

            And with regards to the writer’s intention when he chose that word, I reserve judgement.

          • Adrynalyne

            Yet, how come writers who want to be technically correct do not refer to HDD storage as memory?
            Reserve judgment all you want, the answer is obvious.

          • AETAaAS

            Well that is their choice but the author does use storage and memory in the article to refer to the new hard drive. So it may well be mistake or a choice of vocabulary to avoid repetition.

          • Adrynalyne

            I invite you to an exercise to make a point.

            Read this advertisement.

            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230592

            Now replace everywhere it says storage, hard drive, or HDD with the word memory.

            See how silly it is?

          • AETAaAS

            I already said we accept in common use, memory refers to RAM, but historically, memory is a very broad term for computing as it refers to volatile and non-volatile forms.

          • Adrynalyne

            And today we call non-volatile memory as NVRAM or flash based memory, not HDD.

            Historically speaking, Apes walk on two legs like Humans, but Apes != Humans.

          • AETAaAS

            Are you saying that hard drives are not non-volatile memory?

          • Adrynalyne

            I’m saying that we do not refer to HDD as memory. Non-volatile memory is referred to as NVRAM.

            Period.

            If you want to refer to it as magnetic non-volatile memory, feel free. People will just look at you funny though.

          • Luigi90210

            Actually long term memory would be more related to storage since ypu have the information available but you dont access it unless you need it, working memory or short-term memory is related to ram since you can access it at will until it is moved into long term memory

          • Adrynalyne

            What is your point?
            NVRAM is used for storage, so you are just repeating what I said.

          • Luigi90210

            Non-volatile random-access memory (NVRAM) is random access memory that retains it’s information when powered off, it doesnt store data what so ever, it retains it

            so think of a notebook where you write something into it, it keeps what you wrote until you write something else into it than whatever was previously written into it will be deleted

            i guess my point is, if you are going to rant on about using proper terms and not being ignorant, you should follow what you preach

      • TheBigNoob

        Funny, I’m not the only one who disagree’s with you http://www.ehow.com/about_5452977_computer-memory-vs-storage.html

  • TheBigNoob

    Memory != Storage

    • Adrynalyne

      You would think that would be a priority change (the title). It is embarrassing.

      • PhoenixPath

        Bah.

        The two words are nearly interchangeable nowadays.

        Example: I have plenty of storage for all of my files and have kept my grandma in close memory these last few years.

        You could swap those words around all you like and it would mean the same… Uh… Wait…

        Maybe you’re on to something… :-D

        • Adrynalyne

          LMAO.

  • nothing new

    This is old news. Weeks old. Eric, you are the worst writer on here. Can you resign already?

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      How about you stick your head in a pile of cow sh*t.

    • PhoenixPath

      Hey, your comments are rude to the staff. Can you stop posting here?

      (AP just posted this today as well)

    • Droidzilla

      …..

    • EricRees

      Press release sent out Sept. 9, 2013. I don’t plan on resigning anytime soon :^)

  • HR

    Wait, what?
    Show me a reference model tablet with a HDD and then we’ll talk.

    • Droidzilla

      Archos 7HDD. I had one, and it’s the only Android device I ever returned. It was like having someone fart in your sandwich.

      • PhoenixPath

        +1 for the disturbing comparison.

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    Maybe, for the surge of WIndows 8 convertables coming out, but for Android? Overkill.

    And the thought of a HDD getting equivalent performance to eMMC storage has me hesitant. Current internal storage is much slower than memory used for SSDs, but is still faster than a traditional HDD.