Seagate announced on Monday a new partnership with Fremont-based ASI Computer Technologies to start delivering laptops with the encrypting Momentus 5400 FDE.2 hard drive.

ASI, a company that typically caters to small and medium-sized value added resellers (VARs) and other customers in government, legal, financial, educational, and the health industries, will start selling the C8015 and C8015+ laptops through resellers like Newegg.com starting next month, according to Kent Tibbils, senior director of platform technologies and marketing for ASI.

The notebooks will come in 80-, 120-, and 160-gigabyte capacities, and will feature a 15.4-inch display, integrated biometric fingerprint readers, and will also support Intel Core 2 Duo, Core Duo, Core Solo, and Celeron M Mobile Processors.

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Pricing is expected to start around $2,150 for the notebooks.

"Security is a big concern these days," said Kent Tibbils, senior director of platform technologies and marketing for ASI, "and that's where the significance of having the Momentus comes in."

"It helps create some visibility for our notebook, and in terms of our BTO [Build to Order] notebook segment, having this product is really great in terms of visibility and relevance," Tibbils added.

The Momentus drives feature Seagate's new technology, which the company says is a simpler and more secure approach to safeguarding data stored on laptops.

The 5400 FDE.2 offers a serial ATA interface, hardware-based Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, and will basically encrypt everything, according to Joni Clark, notebook product marketing manager for Seagate.

"We do encryption at full speed with no performance loss," Clark said. "The customer never has a choice about what to encrypt. It's always happening on the drive on the fly."

ASI will also ship its laptops with Wave Systems' Embassy Trust Suite of software to help manage the DriveTrust security features in an enterprise setting, the company said.

Seagate is also in discussions with other brand name laptop makers and expects to announce more partnerships for its 5400 FDE.2 hard drives in the coming months.

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