On Monday, we posted our in-depth look at Seagate’s latest “SSHD”, one that earned its “Thin” moniker by being built around a 7mm-thick form-factor. Naturally, our friends at WD would send us a press release the very next day touting its latest products built around a 5mm-thick form-factor – a world first. Competition sure can be funny sometimes.
There’s more of interest to this launch than the “5mm” marking, however. This launch also marks the first time WD has released a hybrid drive – and yes, the company calls it “SSHD” much like Seagate. With Seagate’s launch, we thought SSHD was its term, but apparently that’s not the case. Broken down, it stands for “Solid-State Hard Drive”, so it seems like a reasonable acronym to us.
That said, the fact that WD has produced a 5mm drive shouldn’t be downplayed. While 7mm > 5mm seems like a small reduction, it’s a staggering 28.5% thinner – that’s impressive.
For those uninterested in an SSHD (why, might we ask?), WD also offers what I like to call a “normie” option (shout out to Peter Griffin). Those models fall into the WD Blue line, although at this point in time it seems the lone option is 500GB. That applies to the WD Black, as well, which feature the models with built-in NAND flash. Interestingly, WD is shipping the Black “with both WD proprietary hybrid technology and industry standard SATA I/O technology” to system integrators. What’s the difference between the two? We’d love to know. Let’s not ignore the fact though that the Black won’t be available to end-consumers (yet), while the Blue will be (priced at $89.99). We can be sure that the current market for 5mm-thick drives is small, but it’s an interesting decision nonetheless.
Here’s a quick summary of WD’s latest drives:
WD notes that both drives are shipping, so you can likely expect to see the Blue hit etailers within the next two weeks.