Seagate has unveiled the Momentus Thin drive, a laptop hard drive, which the company claims, is the world's thinnest.

The Momentus Thin is 7mm thick (just over a quarter of an inch) and is 25 percent slimmer than a traditional .37in. (9.5mm) and 2.5in. hard drive.

The 5,400rpm drive comes in 250GB and 160GB capacities, features 8MB cache, and uses the SATA 2.0 3Gbps interface. The drive is scheduled to ship to Seagate's resellers next month.

The company did not offer a suggested retail price for the new hard drive.

The Momentus Thin drive, which is also being targeted for backup devices and other consumer electronics, is expected to give systems manufacturers and system integrators lower cost-per-gigabyte storage than 1.8in drives, which would allow them to build a new class of low-end thin laptops, according to Seagate.

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"Of all netbook computers available today, 90 percent feature 9.5mm, 2.5-inch laptop drives because solid state and 1.8in hard drives are largely cost-prohibitive for this market," Seagate said.

"The Momentus Thin drive provides the lowest-cost storage for netbooks and thin laptops, enabling computer makers to offer systems that reach a broader market."

Dave Mosley, executive vice president of sales, marketing and product line management at Seagate, said the drive promises to help computer makers differentiate on mobile-computing form factors and better compete in the fast-growing markets for thin laptop PCs and netbooks.

Seagate also claims the Momentus Thin drive competes well against traditional 9.5mm, 2.5in laptop drives in performance and power-efficiency.

Like other Seagate Momentus drives, the Momentus Thin includes self-encryption, FIPS 140-2 certification and free-fall sensors for shock tolerance.

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See also: Seagate to launch 7mm hard-disk drive at CES