Seagate Combines Flash Memory, Hard Disk For Notebook Storage
Seagate Technology on Monday launched its first combination disk storage and flash memory hard drive, joining rival Samsung Electronics in offering hybrid drives that manufacturers say speed the boot-up time of PCs and significantly boost battery life.
The Seagate Momentus 5400 PSD, which stands for "power savings drive," offers 160 Gbytes of traditional rotating disk storage and 256 Mbytes of flash memory. Sony is the first PC maker to offer the new product, making it available in its Vaio SZ650, Melissa Johnson, product-marketing manager for Seagate, said. Three other PC manufacturers also plan to offer products with the new drive, but Johnson declined to name them.
The Momentus sells for $190, which is almost a 30% premium over a traditional drive of equal storage. The higher price, however, gets the buyer technology that Seagate claims can quicken the time it takes to boot a PC by 20%, and uses half as much power as a traditional hard drive. The Sony Vaio gets 25% more battery life from using the hybrid drive, Johnson said. "There's good value across the board for this hybrid technology."
Samsung started shipping its hybrid flash/hard drive in March. Samsung and Seagate offer the same size drive, but Samsung also sells models of 80 Gbytes and 120 Gbytes. Over the next 10 years, Seagate plans to offer hybrid drives as an option across its entire line of disk drives for notebooks, desktops, and ultramobile PCs, Johnson said.