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Seagate’s 500GB Ultra Mobile hard drive brings laptop-level storage to Android tablets

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Tablets are great, but for media consumption devices, they really don’t offer all that much storage. Compared with the storage in a typical laptop, a 16, 32 or 64GB tablet doesn’t sound all that impressive. Seagate(s stx) is hoping to change this, with its new 500GB Ultra Mobile hard drive, which can bring the same amount of storage to Android tablets as it can to laptop PCs.

How is Seagate able to do this? It had to tackle a number of issues, the first of which include general usage issues like shock management, heat, vibration and gyroscopic motion. On the software side, Seagate has addressed these concerns through an enhanced motion sensor and thermal monitoring algorithms. The hard drive also uses Seagate’s Zero Gravity Sensor for shock support, and the company claims the drive is so well insulated that it is likely to survive a drop that would crack the tablet’s screen.

Seagate’s Dynamic Data driver software is designed to reduce power consumption and boost performance through an intelligent caching design implemented at the system level. Seagate claims that a tablet using 8GB of flash memory alongside one of its drives will have consume the same amount of power as a 64GB flash-based tablet. And it will cost manufacturers a fraction of the price of 64GB of flash storage.

The drive measures just 2.5-inches around and 0.19-inches thick and weighs 3.3 ounces. At a full 500GB capacity, that’s enough storage for more than 125,000 songs, 100,000 photos or 62 hours of high-def video. With 4K content on the horizon — and higher resolution mobile screens to display it — the need for increased storage will likely become more of an issue than ever.

Seagate’s new drives are currently designed to work with the Android(s goog) operating system. It is unknown when they will first appear on the market, as Seagate hasn’t announced any hardware partners.

2 Responses to “Seagate’s 500GB Ultra Mobile hard drive brings laptop-level storage to Android tablets”

  1. Oh, please, please, please let me purchase this! You can make fun, but I want one. I *want* a tablet that’s basically just an Android wrapper around a laptop hard drive! Archos makes them, but Archos also has mediocre quality control and terrible service. Not to mention it doesn’t make very *many* of them, so they’re always sold out. I would love a more reputable tablet manufacturer to get into the large hdd market. I *want* to be able to carry around my large music collection, and at least a subset of my tv and movie collection, without necessarily carrying my desktop-replacement laptop (I do that sometimes, but I wouldn’t, for instance, use it to listen to music in the car.)