Western Digital rolls out ultra-slim 5mm Ultrabook drives

WD's new thin and slim 5mm hard drives can save you space and dough.

The drive towards dirt-cheap Ultrabooks is getting a big boost with the release of Western Digital's new ultra-slim spinning hard drive, a barely there piece of hardware that is even thinner than the iPhone 5.

WD's new WD5000MPCK, as it's called, is a 500GB traditional hard drive that measures just 5mm thick. Part of the mid-range WD Blue lineup, the hard drive is 2.54mm thinner than the current iPhone and around half the depth of typical 2.5-inch notebook hard drives.

WD says it is able to offer such an impossibly thin hard drive because of advances in shock protection and a motor shaft that can reduce internal vibration and stabilize drive platters. Beyond depth and capacity, WD's new ultra-thin hard drive features a 5400RPM rotational speed, 16MB cache, a 6Gbps SATA interface, and weighs 72g.

What the new hard drive loses in bulk, however, it makes up for in price with an MSRP of $US89. At less than $US100, the new hard drive is still really cheap, but comparable 9mm-thick drives with a faster rotational speed of 7200RPM are priced around $US50-$60.

Then again, whether you consider the WD5000MPCK overpriced or cheap depends on your point of view. If you're looking for a super-slim Ultrabook with 500GB of onboard storage, then WD's new drive would certainly drag down prices. Until now, solid-state drives were the only viable option for the thinnest of laptops, and pure SSD drives packing a 500GB capacity cost hundreds of dollars.

That's notable since Intel recently said it hopes to see the price of thin and light touchscreen laptops drop to around $200 later in 2013. Premium components like WD's ridiculously thin hard drives won't fit into those machines, but they will be right at home as a cost-saving option in mid- to high-end Ultrabooks.

WD's new 5mm hard drive is shipping now to computer makers, as are its pricier 5mm hybrid drives, which sport onboard flash memory and ship under the premium WD Black brand. The company didn't announce which OEMs would use the new drives first. In September, PCWorld reported that both Asus and Acer planned on using WD's 5mm hybrid drives in upcoming Ultrabooks.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hard driveDriveshddstorageComponentsultrabookslaptopswestern digital

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?