With gadgets and laptops getting smaller and thinner by the day, manufacturers need hard drives that are moving in the same direction. And Hitachi's newest 7mm HDDs do just that, shrinking down the size while ratcheting up the speed to 7200rpm.
These drives could allow the next generation of MacBook Air style super-thin laptops to be even thinner and lighter. With hard drives and batteries generally being the biggest, heaviest elements of a laptop, shrinking one of them down can make a big difference.
Of course, these are platter-based hard drives, not flash drives. And flash drives are what act as storage in cellphones, iPads and some higher-end laptops, as they're smaller and more resistant to bumps and drops than platter drives. Is Hitachi perfecting a type of hard drive that's no longer relevant? We'll have to wait and see what the next generation of super-thin laptops packs inside.