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Thursday, January 03, 2008
Hitachi Debuts 500GB Drive for Laptops

Notebook computers can be as powerful as desktops these days, especially as hard-disk makers like Hitachi grab industry bragging rights by unveiling a 500-gigabyte drive for laptops.

The 500 GB drive is the beefiest one yet for laptops ? enough to hold up to 500 hours of digital video, 178 standard-definition, feature-length movies, 250 games or 125,000 four-minute songs, Hitachi said. Currently, the largest laptop drive on the market is a 320 GB model by Western Digital Corp.

Hitachi said Thursday that its 500 GB drive would be available to computer manufacturers in February. Asustek Computer said it would use two of the Hitachi?s Travelstar 5K500 hard drives into its new M70 notebook PCs, to create the world's first laptops with a monster capacity of 1 terabyte. The Asus M70 laptops will be available in February and March, respectively. Prices were not immediately available.

The Travelstar 5K500, available in either a 400GB or 500GB model, is the fourth-generation Hitachi mobile drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording technology. The HDDs are available with a 3.0Gb/s Serial ATA (SATA) interface.

Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version, called the Travelstar E5K500 -- also available in both 400GB and 500GB capacities -- which is designed for applications requiring 24x7 operation in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers, point-of-sale terminals and video surveillance systems.

The Travelstar 5K500 also includes an array of features, such Hitachi-patented Rotational Vibration Safeguard (RVS) technology. RVS is designed for today?s full-featured notebooks that commonly include premium speakers for enhancing the movie, music and gaming experience. These speakers however, can inadvertently cause vibrations within the system enclosure. To mitigate any adverse impact on system performance, the Travelstar 5K500 uses RVS as an "early warning" system for the drive, enabling it to sense a possible disturbance in advance and take the necessary steps to stabilize the drive head and avoid any disruptions. Additionally, the Travelstar 5K500 drives feature 400Gs of shock protection to further safeguard user data from falls, bumps and rough handling.

The Travelstar 5K500 drives also feature optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard drive level data security.

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