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Seagate set to unleash trio of third-generation SSHDs

Fresh off the news that it is phasing out production of 7200rpm mobile hard disk drives (HDDs), Seagate has announced that it is set to start shipping third-generation solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs) which combine NAND flash memory with mechanical disk drive capacity.

Seagate's trio of new SSHDs include a 500GB drive measuring just 7mm in height for ultra-thin laptops like ultrabooks, a 1TB drive for high-end, full-sized laptops, and a desktop PC drive offering up to 2TB capacity and 8GB of NAND flash memory.

"Seagate's engineers have really outdone themselves this time. Our new SSHDs serve up your favourite content with the lightning-fast performance you have to experience to believe," Scott Horn, Seagate vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "With these new drives it's like adding a turbo-charge to your PC, without having to sacrifice capacity, at a price that's easy on your wallet."

Seagate said its new Laptop and Laptop Thin SSHDs offer a 40 per cent storage performance boost over previous generation hybrid drives, while adding "as much as 30 per cent to total system performance, regardless of the processor inside the system." The storage giant said its third-generation hybrid drive technology offers boot times in laptops that are under 10 seconds and performs storage functions on Windows 8 machines "five times faster than a standard 5400rpm notebook hard drive."

While Seagate didn't specify price points for its new drives, the company said "[t]hese products ... enable system builders to build high-performance, high-capacity systems, including new thin and light laptops, at mass-market price points."

Seagate's new Desktop SSHD, meanwhile, utilises the company's Adaptive Memory technology "to identify and store only the most critical data a system needs to go fast," resulting in faster boot times and up to four times the performance speed of PCs utilising HDD solutions, according to the company. The Desktop SSHD will carry a price tag that's "just slightly more than a standard hard drive" with equivalent capacity, Seagate said.

Where can we expect to see these hybrid drives? Seagate's press release contained testimonials from big guns Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo, as well as smaller outfit Origin PC, so those are some likely candidates.

Late last month, we got a clue as to how quickly the storage giant looks to be moving away from mechanical-only hard drives when a Seagate executive told X-bit Labs that the company will cease building 2.5in 7200rpm HDDs for high-end laptops by the end of this year.

Seagate will continue to make 5400rpm mechanical drives for lower-end notebook PCs, however.