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Seagate ships 3rd-gen hybrid drive, now called SSHD

Seagate announces the availability of its latest hybrid drive, the SSHD for laptop and desktop.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read
Seagate's SSHDs showcased at CES 2013. Dong Ngo

Remember the exciting solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) Seagate showcased at CES 2013? You can now get versions for both laptops and desktops.

The storage vendor announced today the availability of the Seagate Laptop SSHD drive -- a 7mm-thin SSHD designed for laptops and certain ultrabooks -- and the all-new Seagate Desktop SSHD, the first hybrid drive for desktops. The former is the third-gen hybrid drive from the company, replacing the previous Momentus XT 500GB and Momentus XT 750GB.

Similar to the Momentus XT drives, the new SSHDs (both laptop and desktop versions) come with both solid-state (flash memory, normally used in solid-state drives) and regular platter-based storage, as commonly used in hard drives (HDDs), in one standard box. More specifically, both desktop and laptop version comes with 8GB of flash memory. The desktop version comes in the 1TB and 2TB capacities while the laptop version offers 500GB and 1TB capacities.

Seagate says future SSHDs will comes with more flash memory, up to 32GB, but for now, 8GB is enough to boost the drives' performance. In fact the Seagate Laptop SSHD is to replace the company's 7,200rpm regular laptop drives. Unlike the Momentus XT, the new laptop SSHD's platter spins at only 5,400rpm. The Seagate Desktop SSHD, however, still spins at 7,200rpm.

Both new drives comes in the standard SATA designs: 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch for laptops and desktops, respectively, and support the latest SATA 3 (6Gbps) standard. They work with all existing SATA revisions, however. Both drive comes with Seagate's SSHD technology that automatically moves hot (frequently accessed) data to the flash-memory portion to optimize overall performance. Seagate SSHD works at the drive's level and requires no driver or or software to be installed on the host.

Seagate says that the new laptop SSHDs provide performance five times that of a regular 5,400rpm laptop drive and offers a boot time of just 10 seconds with Windows 8. The Destkop SSHD also offers performance four times that of a regular desktop hard drives.

The main selling point of these SSHDs is the fact that they offer SSD-like performance at a much more affordable price point while still boasting capacities comparable to those of standard hard drives. And the pricing of Seagate's new SSHDs are indeed compelling. The company's laptop SSHD costs just $79 and $99 for 500GB and 1TB, respectively. The desktop version is also very affordable, at $99 and $149 for 1TB and 2TB, respectively. Both drives are available now.

To find out how these new SSHDs are stacked up to SSDs in terms of performance, check back soon for their full reviews.