Ultrabooks and high end notebooks have already shifted to SSDs, or in some cases hybrid drives, hence Seagate’s decision should come as no surprise. Traditional 7200rpm drives tend to generate quite a bit of heat and they need a lot more power than SSDs, so they’re anything but an ideal choice for thin and light notebooks.
David Burks, Seagate’s director of marketing and product management, told X-bit Labs that the company will stop building 7200rpm notebook drives “at the end of 2013”. Seagate already offers a range of hybrid 2.5-inch drives to OEMs and retailers, but it is expected to refresh its lineup later this year. The phase out should coincide with the introduction of next generation Seagate hybrid drives.
Western Digital recently showcased its first 2.5-inch hybrids, with a lot more NAND cache than Seagate Momentus XT series hybrid drives, but neither company has made a serious effort to enter the SSD market, which is overcrowded as it is.
However, although Seagate will stop producing 7200rpm notebook drives this year, they will probably be on the market for the better part of 2014. Since Western Digital is a relative newcomer to the hybrid market, it might keep building 7200rpm drives a bit longer, although it is more than likely that WD will drop 7200rpm drives in favour of hybrids as well.