Small is beautiful.
The Guinness World Records has certified Toshiba’s 0.85-inch hard disk drive as the smallest HDD in the world (it’s not actually out yet; expect to see it in September).
Toshiba say it’s the first hard disk drive “to deliver multi-gigabyte data storage in a sub-one-inch form factor”. (The 0.85-inch measurement refers to the diameter of the magnetic disk.) It comes in capacities of 2 to 4 gigabytes and will probably end up in mobile phones, digital camcorders and portable storage devices.
The Guinness folks offer some historical perspective: The first hard drive came out in 1956, and needed 50 two-foot disks to store 4.4 MB.
Of course, with hard drives the size of your thumb, this is going to have a very interesting impact on PDAs, cellphones, laptops and MP3 players. My tupennce worth: Marry these very small drives with thin displays and what else do people need?