At the behest of equipment manufacturers looking to build a new class of ultra-thin notebooks, Hitachi GST announced today it will begin shipping quarter-inch thick hard drives -- 26% slimmer than the current drives in most laptops and netbooks today.
"Netbooks today aren't necessarily thin. They're low cost. What [manufacturers] are trying to do is move up from the standard netbook, to ultra-thin and light notebooks," said Brendan Collins, Hitachi GST's vice president of marketing. "So they're trying to add more value and move consumers up the price ladder from around $300 to more like a $500 to $600 range."
Collins said upcoming ultra-light notebooks for which the new drives are being produced target a market segment between low-end netbooks and high-end, ultra-thin notebooks, such as the Macbook Air. The ultra-light notebooks are expected to roll out in the third quarter of the year.
Hitachi's new Z-series drives are .27-in thick and have a single spinning platter with up to 320GB capacity, the same capacity as the company's .37-inch thick, single-platter predecessors. Collins said Hitachi is not releasing a suggested retail price because it sells to equipment manufactures or resellers, who then determine the pricing.
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