Most of us are already carrying around a small library in our pockets thanks to smartphones that offer tens of gigabytes worth of storage.

But what if you could carry your entire computer in your pocket? In the next months, Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX) will ship a disk drive that introduces the possibility. Called the GoFlex Slim, the new drive is only 9 millimeters thick and offers 320 gigabytes of storage for $100, Techworld.com reports.

Expect consumers to give this drive a serious look, especially those with cheap netbooks that skimp on storage space. And expect EMC (NYSE: EMC), which owns personal drive maker Iomega, to develop and ship an alternative as quickly as it can.

GoFlex Slim serves a need. More of us are taking gear to everyday events, and thanks to flip cams and DSLRs, we're creating an increasing amount of byte-consuming interactive media that demands storage space.

Yet I'm hesitant to change my bearish view of Seagate. The data storage industry is turning away from the optical and magnetic technologies that Seagate and peer Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) have long offered and toward solid-state technology from the likes of SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) and STEC (Nasdaq: STEC).

And while the personal data storage market may be attractive, I fear there are too many options for Seagate to stand out. Just look at the Web. Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN) new Cloud Drive may not offer much space right now, but it's free and easy to use. Capacity limits will increase with time.

Good effort, Seagate. But if you want my attention as an investor, show me how you'll disrupt the solid-state storage market that's disrupting your core business as I write this. Show me a real plan to win that theater of war, and then I'll get interested.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think about the data storage market, personal disk drives, and Seagate's competitive positioning using the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader

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