Until SSDs get big and cheap, hybrid disk drives—which combine a traditional high-capacity hard drive with speedy solid state memory—are a great compromise. Particularly now that Singapore's Data Storage Institute has created a 2.5-inch one terabyte hybrid drive that's just 4.98 millimetres thick.
If it ends up being reasonably priced it could make the MacBook Air a little cheaper, and maybe even a little thinner. And it's certainly svelte enough to stick in a tablet, although that would probably be a bad idea unless you were really careful with it.
In addition to a terabyte of old-school storage, the A-Drive includes a 32 gigabyte SSD for the operating system, other software, or hefty files you need quick access to. And the secret to how the DSI managed to make the A-Drive so incredibly thin lies with a proprietary design for the motor that spins the platters. It's not only thinner, it's also more energy efficient, reducing its power consumption by up to 70 percent which in turn means better battery life. You can't buy one just yet—sadly—but there's probably not going to be much difficulty convincing a company to put these into production as soon as possible. [Data Storage Institute via Gizmag]