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Hitachi Rolls Out 500 GB Portable Drive

Hitachi Rolls Out 500 GB Portable Drive

If you love your notebook computer but lament its lack of storage capacity compared desktop systems (with all those tempting drive bays), then Hitachi has some good news for you: the company has announced two 500 GB 2.5-inch SATA hard drives suitable for use in notebook computers and other portable devices. The Travelstar 5K500 will be available in February, with the Travelstar E5K500 following in the second quarter of 2008.

"The Travelstar 5K500 was designed to address some important trends taking place in today’s notebook computing market," said Hitachi Global Storage Technology’s director Larry Swezey, in a statement. "Consumers tend to think of their notebooks as less of a pure technology tool and more of a mobile entertainment device for taking large libraries of movies, music, games and pictures on the go. As a result, notebooks are now starting to ship with wide, high definition screens and large, high quality speakers for playing digital audio and video. Hitachi’s new Travelstar 5K500 responds to these dynamics with the features, design innovations and technologies that enhance the overall entertainment experience."

The 3-platter, 5,400 rpm Travelstar 5K500 will be available in 400 and 500 GB capacities with a 3 Gb/s SATA interface, a 5.5 ms average latency, an d a 12 ms average seek time. The drives feature a 0.7 Watt low-power idle, a 0.95 Watt active idle, and a 1.8 Watt idle power draw. Hitachi also plans to ship optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) versions of the Travelstar 5k500 with a 1.5 Gb/s interface, as well as an enhanced availability (EA) version dubbed the E5K500 designed for 24/7 operation in low transaction environments like surveillance systems, network routers, point of sales terminals, and the like.

Of course, what’s a 500 GB drive without a computer to go with it? Or, from Asus’s point of view, how about two? Hitachi and Asus have already announced plans to put two 5K500 500 GB drives in Asus’s new M50 and M0 notebook PCs, offering up to 1 TB of total storage in a two-drive configuration. The companies estimate that’ll hold about 1,000 hours of video: once you’re done watching that, you’ll need to upgrade your computer anyway, right?

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Geoff Duncan
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