Seagate has revealed a hybrid solid state/hard drive which is claimed to be "the world’s fastest 2.5 inch laptop PC hard drive." The Momentus XT offers users the price and capacity benefits of a hard disk drive and the speed advantages of solid state memory in one laptop-sized drive.

Lightning speed, drive longevity and resistance to shock damage are amongst the numerous benefits of installing solid state drives (SSD) in computers and laptops. The major drawback, at the moment at least, is price. SSDs are frighteningly expensive.

A less costly compromise comes in the shape of the hybrid setup, where a hard disk drive (HDD) is supplemented by solid state memory. Seagate has announced just such a solution in its "best-of-both-worlds" Momentus XT hybrid drive. It squeezes a 500GB/320GB/250GB 7200RPM HDD with 32MB cache and a 4GB SLC NAND solid state memory module into a 2.5 inch form factor suitable for installation in laptops.

"For notebook PC users looking forward to faster PC performance without sacrificing storage capacity or affordability, now there’s an option" said the company's John Rydning. Dave Mosley, Seagate's Executive VP of Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management, followed with, "We see the Momentus XT drive as a game changer, a product heralding a new generation of hard drives that combine SSD and HDD capabilities so that laptop users don't have to make trade-offs on speed, cost or capacity."

According to Seagate, the new Momentus XT drive with SATA 3Gb/s interface and Native Command Queuing benefits from fast boot ups and Adaptive Memory technology, which studies a user's habits and moves frequently accessed data into the drive's flash memory for speedier access. This no doubt helps it to perform up to 80 percent faster than traditional HDDs of the same spin speed.

Seagate has revealed that ASUS has already announced it will offer the Momentus XT drive as an upgrade option for the ROG G73Jh gaming laptop.