In general, tablets top out at around 128GB or 256GB of storage. But, most people don't need that much for a tablet. The rising popularity of cloud storage has also cut the need for tons of internal storage.
Storage maker Seagate doesn't see things that way, though. Its 3.3 ounce — about the weight of a lightbulb — Ultra Mobile HDD is a 5mm thick 500GB hard drive; perfect for Android tablets.
Seagate says the Ultra Mobile HDD will have flash-like performance in speed, power consumption and reliability. According to the company, a tablet with 8GB of flash storage and the 500GB Ultra Mobile HDD will operate at power levels comparable to that of a 64GB tablet. Performance will reportedly be similar to that of a 16GB tablet.
Here's Seagate's own read/write benchmarks for its new mobile hard drive, starting with the read speeds:
And here are the write speeds:
Additionally, zero gravity sensors will better monitor drops and tumbles.
Mind you, the hard drive is for internal purposes, so this isn't something you'll be able to go out, buy, and connect to your existing tablet as an external storage drive. If anything, the Ultra Mobile HDD is a look into the future of mobile computing — one that is large enough to store your entire music, movie and digital files locally.
Seagate also claims its Ultra Mobile HDD for Android tablets will cost less than flash-based tablets with the same storage.