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Seagate laptop hard drive goes superthin

Seagate debuts a new 2.5-inch laptop hard drive, the Momentus Thin, that's only 7mm thick.

The new Momentus Thin laptop hard drive. Seagate

At only 9.5mm, the regular 2.5-inch laptop hard drive is already very thin compared with the 25.4mm of the 3.5-inch desktop hard drive. But Seagate, one of the bigger hard-drive makers around, just decided to go even slimmer.

The company announced Monday the Momentus Thin, a new 2.5-inch-based laptop hard drive that's 25 percent thinner, at only 7mm. This reduction in thickness makes the new hard drive comparable, in physical size, to that of most solid state drives (SSDs) used in Netbooks and ultraportable computers. However, it retains the advantages of regular hard drives, which include much higher capacities and, most importantly, a much lower cost per gigabyte.

The Momentus Thin offers the same performance as a regular SATA 2.5-inch hard drive, which is faster than most low-end SSD used in Netbooks. The new drive comes in two capacities (250GB and 160GB); sports 8MB of cache memory, supports a SATA 3Gbps interface, and spins at 5400rpm.

The Mometus Thin uses the same type of cable and ports as a regular SATA 2.5-inch hard drive. This means it will also fit in any application where a 9.5mm hard drive is used. This makes it possible for users to upgrade their existing storage by themselves.

The new Momentus Thin 2.5-inch SATA hard drives will be available in January, with the 250GB version costing only $55. It's unclear how much the 160GB version will cost, but it will obviously be cheaper than its larger counterpart.