Seagate will start shipping a new range of 2.5-inch hard-disk drives for the notebook PC market this month. The range contains a number of industry firsts that promise consumers a combination of better performance and storage capacity compared to the company's existing models, it said.
The Momentus-branded hard drive series includes a 120GB drive that spins at 5400rpm and a 100GB drive that spins at 7200rpm.
This was the first time notebook drives with these combinations of rotational speeds and capacities had been announced by Seagate, manager of product marketing at the company, Mark Walker, said.
The new range of drives came in three series that covered the high-performance, mid-range and value notebook PC markets respectively, he said.
The 7200.1 series offers drives with 40GB, 60GB and 80GB capacities as well as the 100GB version. All the drives in this series run at 7200rpm.
The 5400.2 series offers drives at 30GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB and 100GB capacities as well as the 120GB version, and all the drives run at 5400rpm.
The 4200.2 series also had the same six capacities as the 5400.2 series, but the drives ran at 4200rpm, the company said.
Both the 7200.1 and the 5400.2 series will be available with Parallel ATA or Serial ATA interfaces, while the 4200.2 series will only be available with the Parallel ATA interface.
Most notebook drives ran at 5400rpm and the 7200.1 series drives would offer noticeably better performance for users, Walker said.
For example, notebook PCs with Seagate's 7200.1 drives would typically boot up Windows XP about 20 per cent faster than the same PCs with the company's 5400.2 series drives, he said.
Performance will come at a price, though.
The 7200rpm drives would cost about 50 per cent more than the company's 5400rpm drives, Walker said. He did not disclose specific prices for any of the drives. A number of PC vendors including HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo are testing the new range of drives.
Seagate hopes these new drives will help the company triple its share of the growing global market for notebook PC drives to about 30 per cent within three years, Walker said.
As price and performance differences between notebook PCs and older desktop PCs are narrowing, more people are replacing their desktops with notebooks and this trend is boosting demand for 2.5-inch drives.
The number of 2.5-inch drives shipped in 2004 grew nearly 20 per cent compared to 2003, and the market should grow about 20 per cent again to reach nearly 67 million units this year, Walker said.
Seagate had an 11 per cent share of the market for 2.5-inch drives during the first three months of 2005, behind Hitachi Global Storage Technologies with 34 per cent, Fujitsu with 25 per cent and Toshiba with 22 per cent, according to estimates provided by Seagate.