Hard drive manufacturer Western Digital has today announced its first 5mm hybrid hard drive (or SSHD) has been released to OEMs. Western Digital have released two drives in the 5mm form factor, a WD Black drive and a WD Blue drive, however the Blue drive does not offer flash storage, and is a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). The main advantage of the new Western Digital Black drive is that it is just 5mm thick, compared to 7mm for its Seagate competitors. This makes the drive much lighter than other drives, and also leaves much more space in the hard drive bay.
The drive supports the SATA III 6Gbps standard, and boasts up to 24GB of NAND flash memory. This allows the drive to store much more data in the solid-state memory when compared to Seagate SSHDs, which feature 8GB of flash storage, which should enable faster transfer speeds. The WD Black drive has a capacity of 500GB and should have applications not only in the laptop market, but also in the growing tablet market. The pricing of the WD Black drive has not been confirmed, however its sibling, the WD Blue HDD, is priced at $89.