Seagate to ship 120GB laptop hard drives in June
It hopes the new hardware will boost sales
IDG News Service - Seagate Technology LLC will start shipping a new range of 2.5-in. hard disk drives for the notebook PC market next month. The range contains a number of industry firsts that promise a combination of better performance and storage capacity in comparison with the company's existing models, Seagate announced today.
The Momentus-branded hard-drive series includes a 120GB drive that spins at 5,400 rpm and a 100GB drive that spins at 7,200 rpm. This is the first time notebook drives with these combinations of rotational speeds and capacities have been announced by Seagate, according to Mark Walker, manager of product marketing at the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company.
The new range of drives offers three series that cover the high-performance, midrange and value notebook PC markets, respectively:
- 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 7,200 rpm.
- 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 5,400 rpm.
- The 4200.2 series has the same six capacities as the 5400.2 series, but the drives run at 4,200 rpm, the company said.
Both the 7200.1 and the 5400.2 series will be available with Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment or Serial ATA interfaces, while the 4200.2 series will be available only with the Parallel ATA interface, the company said.
Most notebook drives run at 5,400 rpm, and the 7200.1 series drives will offer noticeably better performance for users, Walker said. For example, notebook PCs with Seagate's 7200.1 drives will typically boot up Windows XP about 20% faster than the same PCs with the company's 5400.2 series drives, he said.
That performance will come at a price, though. The 7,200 rpm drives will cost about 50% more than the company's 5,400-rpm drives, Walker said. He didn't disclose specific prices for any of the drives.
A number of PC vendors, including Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc., Acer Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd., are testing the new drives, Walker said.
Seagate hopes the drives will help triple its share of the growing global market for notebook PC drives to about 30% within three years, Walker said.
As price and performance differences between notebook PCs and older desktop PCs are narrowing, more people are replacing their desktop PCs with notebook PCs instead of buying desktop PCs, a trend that's boosting demand for 2.5-in. drives. The number of 2.5-in. drives shipped in 2004 grew nearly 20% over 2003 and is expected to grow about 20% again this year to reach nearly67 million units, Walker said.
Seagate had an 11% share of the market for 2.5-in. drives during the first three months of 2005, behind Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. with 34%, Fujitsu Ltd. with 25%, and Toshiba Corp. with 22%, according to estimates provided by Seagate.
"We are No. 4 right now, but we want to be in the top three," Walker said.
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