New seagate hard drives may bring 500 GB tablets to the market


In today’s tablet market it is surprising to even see a 64 GB tablet. Some users have gotten used to working with 8-16 GB of internal storage, but is that really the way the industry should move? Seagate aims to stir things with its new Ultra Mobile HDD.

The reason why tablets can’t get much internal storage is due to the fact they need to use flash memory. Flash memory is smaller and safer, but it also costs much more. Seagate addresses this issues with the Ultra Mobile HDD.

The new hard drive measures in at a mere 5 mm. of thickness! This allows tablet manufacturers to fit more components into a device without sacrificing much on thinness. Seagate promises a display will many times break before the Ultra Mobile HDD gets damaged, which is quite outstanding for a traditional HDD.


But what about performance? Well, Seagate’s software makes all the difference. Though this is a HDD, Seagate’s Dynamic Data Driver will make the hard drive use about the same energy as a 64 GB tablet. Meanwhile, it performs as well as a 16 GB tablet. All for cheaper than both solutions!

This is the most exciting part, though – the Ultra Mobile HDD will offer storage space of up to 500 GB! This is some serious internal storage for a tablet, but will it entice manufacturers to sign up?

We are moving into a world where cloud computing is becoming key. More and more companies are pushing cloud services instead of local file consumption. Meanwhile, we have those who still prefer the quality and flexibility of using local files.

Regardless, having 500 GB of storage would be pretty sweet. Especially if there isn’t much of a sacrifice to make.


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TAGS: Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD , Ultra Mobile HDD

  • supremekizzle

    Screw HDD. Drop that tablet once and you’re gonna be buying a new one.

    • Russ

      If you drop the tablet hard enough to bust a mobile HDD, chances are you’d be buying a new tablet anyway.

  • Aaron Sua

    Really we’re moving to a future where cloud computing is expensive. I’d much rather have 500GB of storage than worry about how much Verizon / AT&T are going to charge for that much mobile bandwidth. Also cloud computing isn’t so useful on a plane, in vast parts of the US where coverage is a fairy tale, and other countries that operate on bands our devices don’t always support.

    • Kristoff119

      Get a nexus and you’re set wherever you may travel as it covers every band of GSM/HSDPA, and I know of nowhere where there isn’t GSM. But, yes, when there is no coverage you may be in trouble. I really don’t see why the carriers charge so much for data. It’s just wrong. I paid $7 for thirty days of unlimited data this summer, in Armenia, and though it was at 384kbps, it was consistent and well worth it(Could have done the full 7Mbps, but decided against it since it was 6ยข for 5MB). I guess it ultimately comes down to what the market will bear, but the coverage is truly too poor and sometimes too unbearably slow for what the carriers are charging.

      • Gideon Waxfarb

        ‘I know of nowhere where there isn’t GSM.’

        I do :P You obviously haven’t been in more rural areas of the US, where Verizon is the only thing that works. Unfortunately, I have a lot of family that lives in these places :(

        • Kristoff119

          On a worldwide scale, not regional in USA alone, as that was one of Aaron’s concerns, though I should say, I’ve yet to be anywhere in the US either where I’ve not had coverage by GSM, roaming at least.

          • Aaron Sua

            to be fair I said “devices don’t always support”. So while a very small number of devices may operate world wide, the vast majority won’t.

    • ari_free

      Or subways

  • CGS

    I’d love it if they’d just make phones with a hard drive that big.

    And before anyone says anything, yes, I’d totally use that much hard drive space in a phone.

    • lycan codex

      That much porn is not good brother!

      • CGS

        Hahaha, I rarely keep porn on my phone for very long. ;)

        • No_Nickname90

          WTF!? LoL!! *caught off guard*

  • Scott Stafford

    This has to be considerably slower than flash memory.

    • MITM

      article says it performs as well as flash memory

      Im interested

      • Scott Stafford

        I highly doubt it. Seagates software? I smell bullshit.

        • jbo1018

          It uses an 8 or 16 GB (cant remember which) caching system with traditional flash storage. With properly tuned software and the fact tablets aren’t going to usually be using huge files it should be close to flash speeds.

  • No_Nickname90

    Oh yea!! We are getting one step closer to replacing laptops with our tablets. Imagine this in a multi-bootable tablet. My gosh!!

    *nerd mode on*

  • Kleverson Royther

    So, if you move a lot with your tablet and make some abrupt movements, this is not going to last much…

    • No_Nickname90

      Wouldn’t this mean that laptops’ hard drives break easier? I mean my laptop get’s carried in a backpack. That’s some crazy movement right there, right?

      • Jason Farrell

        Any HDD drive will break easier than solid state. It’s just the physics of having a r/w head hovering a few nanometers above spinning platters. Most drives will park the heads safely when sleeping or awake and a zero-g drop is detected, but they can’t be saved from everything.

      • jbo1018

        Yeah people are exaggerating the fragility. Modern laptop hard drives are made to be moved around bumped and whatnot. As long as you don’t give it a huge jolt while its reading/writing it should be fine through normal use. (This of course counts on people treating a tablet in the same way they would a laptop)

        • Kleverson Royther

          And this is the problem, most people do not treat their tablets as a laptop.

      • Kleverson Royther

        Yes, but not the way you’re thinking. When your laptop is closed, your HDD is not on. My example was for the tablet when it’s turned on.

        • Max

          what about ipod classic hard drives, they are somewhat hit and miss on reliablity, but they also are using 5+ year old hdd technology, maybe seagate made some progress, especially since with exponentially more ram and cache space, the hdd is accessed far less frequently

        • No_Nickname90

          Interesting… So those times when my laptop didn’t sleep the HDD was running. =.O

          Hmm… I guess I’ll need to start shutting it down more. But nothing has broken on me yet; but being in security, I know that’s a stupid way to think.

          That’s interesting. I’ll need to look out for that. Hmm… This idea is starting to stir quite the argument.

      • supremekizzle

        I have ssd laptop too. While the cost for ssds may be higher, it is definitely worth it.
        Faster, quieter, less heat, less power draw, better boot time, better failure rate, magnetically safe.

        • No_Nickname90

          Oh, I’m MORE than sure it’s worth it. From what I read about SSD’s, you ARE the father… Wait!! I mean, you are getting your money’s worth.

  • mcl630

    They should make an SSD in that form factor. An 128GB or 256GB SSD would be better suited to a tablet, perform better, and use less power.

    • John Andrew Stuart

      This was developed to make tablets more affordable; it’s option that will be available to manufacturers to make tablets even more affordable.

      • mcl630

        Yes, I know. And I’m saying I (and I know I’m not alone in this) don’t want an HDD in a tablet, I want more Flash (whether eMMc, SSD, or whatever). Flash memory prices are getting lower and lower, it should not be terribly pricey to have 128GB in a tablet, and certainly not 64GB.

        • John Andrew Stuart

          I don’t want an HDD in a tablet either but for those who aren’t as choosey as you and I, a HDD in a tablet is not a problem so long as the price tag is lower.

  • ac

    I love the concept. Just hope to see it in production on an actual product to see how performance is, within an actual device. This could be a game changer.

  • Mark2468

    I’d rather have a HDD than have to worry about the NSA going through my data in the cloud.

  • Patrick Bateman

    I need a least 4tb for my porn collection :(

  • Steven Skwarkowski

    Give me a SATA 6.0 option and im fine. Ill add my own SSD and be done with it!

  • z0phi3l

    Seagate trying to push what is essentially obsolete tech? Why not make SSD’s better and cheaper? That makes more sense than all the R&D wasted on this

    • Steven Skwarkowski

      Platter drives are still good, low cost options for storage. SSDs wont even come close to the 4TB sizes we currently have for a long time. Let alone the cost would be astrnomical.

      Currently platter drives are around $0.04 -$0.06 per GB VS SSD @ roughly $0.70 at the cheapest. Only 10x the cost or more……………..

  • Judd Sandage

    “Seagate promises a display will many times break before the Ultra Mobile HDD gets damaged”…. Sense, this makes none.

    • sloppybones

      Funny, indeed this is.

    • shonangreg

      I read it as Seagate claiming the reliability is not going to be a problem. Their HDD is reliable enough that your screen will probably break long before the hard drive fails.

  • Vanakatherock

    I’d be in line to buy one if I could swap out the HDD for an SSD.

  • Max

    have any of you ever tried to purchase a 500gb ssd? they barely exist are expensive and don’t come any smaller than a 2.5inch laptop drive.

    i love ssds they are amazing, they are the future.

    but for the present and at least a few more years if not another decade, we are going to have to rely on hdds for large and cheap storage. Also cheap HDD especially hybrid storage will force ssds to drop in price quicker.

    if people don’t know this is a hybrid drive meaning itll prob have at least a 16gb flash buffer, essentially meaning system files and stuff you access often rarely spins the drive. realize 16gbs is big enough you can run android and an a full length HD movie, and only spin the drive once at startup and once at the start of the movie

    • Durandal_1707

      “they barely exist are expensive and don’t come any smaller than a 2.5inch laptop drive.”

      The blade SSDs that are used in Ultrabooks/MacBook Airs come in 512 GB sizes, and are much smaller than 2.5 laptop drives.

      • Max

        Yea but apple charges a fortune for those, something that couldn’t really be absorbed in tablet pricing and still quite large for a tablet.

        Most other ultrabooks only offer 256gb.

        Are you really going to spend $500+ on a ssd harddrive upgrade on a $500 tablet?

        • Durandal_1707

          That’s just the Apple tax though. They pretty much always charge around 2x market price for RAM and storage upgrades. The price to them is nowhere near the price they charge you for the upgrade.

  • Guest

    m.2 looking like some really nice tech, massive hard drives, that are as small of not smaller then a stick of ram

  • godrilla

    If they make it a hybrid drive with flash and hd like their momentus xt line it would be great.
    yes 8 and 16 gigs of space is standard now but that is just to keep cost down, $199 nexus phone $199 nexus tablet.

  • hemipw54

    Now if they would just make a tablet that is flexible and able to be rolled up.

  • Max Struever

    Im surprised it’s going back to HDD instead of SSD