With the constant SSD assault not wavering for a split second, HDD manufacturers such as Seagate have had to change up their game plan a slight bit, in order to compete in the ever shrinking platter based consumer market. However, the SSD isn't the only reason we see 2.5" drives becoming increasingly thinner.
In October of 2011, Intel released the first specifications for its Ultrabook code named Huron River. This specification mandated that the minimum battery life would be five hours and the drive must be able to resume from hibernation (S4) within seven seconds. The one thing that was left out was the minimum transfer rates for the internal storage. Chief River, or Ultrabook revision 2, which would be released in June of 2012, updated the specifications to include a minimum of 80MB/s transfer speed, effectively removing the HDD from competition, while retaining the same five hour battery life and seven second resume from S4 hibernation.
Due out later this year, Shark Bay or Gen3 Ultrabook, is aimed to set the bar a bit higher in terms of disk I/O per watt performance. While no information has been released to the public, allegedly this new spec will require nine hours of battery life, while carrying over the same 80MB/s minimum transfer and seven second resume from S4. Now it's quite obvious all of these specs really have HDD makers churning butter, but not all is lost, and no, the HDD is not dead.
Earlier this year Seagate chose to make a massive and rather bold move and discontinue its 7200RPM 2.5" lineup. In favor of this old standard, we find them being replaced by the all new Laptop SSHD and Laptop Thin SSHD. These 5400RPM drives are available in two capacities and what we call Z-Heights or thicknesses. The first of which is the Laptop SSHD which will carry a 1TB capacity with a 9.5mm Z-Height, and the second and the drive we will be looking over today is the 500GB capacity Laptop Thin SSHD which carries a 7mm Z-Height.