Scientists working at the Data Storage Institute in Singapore are saying that they have managed to create a hard drive that is only 5 mm thick. That is 2 mm smaller than the current smallest hard drive on the market. It is also small enough to possibly fit into a tablet. The iPad is 8.8 mm thick, so there could be lots of room in there for an actual hard drive. There is no information on what the capacity of these thinnest of hard drives will be. DSI is said to be working on hybrid flash supported drives as well.
If these don’t end up in all our tablets in the future then they will most likely end up in ultrabooks, some of the thinnest laptops on the market. DSI has said that they already have made an axial field motor that supports 5,200 RPM and 7,200 RPM drives and is only 4 mm thick. There is no timeline as to when, or if, these might actually make it to the market. No major hard drive manufacturers have made plans to have these made yet.
Now to be completely fair, a company already has been making Android tablets with hard drives available, however they are not exactly the thinnest of devices. Archos’ G9 line of tablets are available with either up to 32GB of flash storage, or a 250GB hard drive. The flash storage model of the tablets are 12 mm thick, and the hard drive version adds 3 mm for a total of 15 mm. So the G9 with a hard drive is almost double the thickness of the iPad. What would you do with more than the 8-64GB of storage space that currently comes with most tablets?[Xbit]