updated 07:30 am EDT, Tue June 1, 2010
Hitachi Travelstar 7mm gets 7200RPM, PVR ready
Hitachi claimed a lead in mobile hard drives today by rolling out some of the most advanced 7mm (0.28in) drives to date. The Travelstar Z7K320 leads the way and is the first 7,200RPM disk in the ultra-thin size: it can provide near desktop-level performance but opens the door to thinner notebooks. It also fits in a typical 9.5mm tall (0.37in) notebook drive bay and can provide extra space for cooling or shock guards.
The 2.5-inch wide drive is also one of the first to hold 320GB in the slim design, carries a desktop-like 16MB of cache and plugs into SATA or SATA II drives. Lower-capacity 160GB and 250GB disks will be an option at the same time.
Other drives cater to more modest or specialized needs. The Travelstar Z5K320 holds the same capacity but spins at 5,400RPM and holds 8MB of cache, dropping the price for those who don't need more speed than a typical notebook hard drive. A Cinemastar Z5K320 variant is similar but tuned for the low noise and reliability needed for DVRs and other set-top boxes.
Hitachi hasn't said if the Travelstar drives will be available as stand-alone upgrade kits, but it does expect all of the drives to be in mass production within the next three months. The Travelstar Z5K320 will start first, in July, and should be followed by both its Cinemastar equivalent and the Travelstar Z7K320 in August. Samsung has shown interest, but other computer builders are very likely, especially those that specialize in thin notebooks.