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Hitachi hypes 'world's most capacious' laptop hard drive

500GB drive coming to Asus laptops

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Hitachi's Global Storage Technologies group has rolled out what it claims is the world's most capacious laptop-friendly hard drive - a 500GB monster that notebook maker Asus has already said it will build into future machines.

The 2.5in Travelstar 5K500 spins at 5400rpm and contains three disc platters and six read/write heads. Hitachi quoted an average latency of 5.5ms and an average read time of 12ms. It connects to the host across a 1.5Gb/s or 3Gb/s SATA interface. The new drives consume 1.9W of power during read and write operations, falling to 0.7W during idle time.

Hitachi said a second version of the 12.5mm-high drive will be offered, this time with integrated automatic data encryption. However, this is limited to a 1.5Gb/s SATA link.

For its part, Asus said it would use the 5K500 in its upcoming M50 and M70 notebooks - the latter with a pair of the drives for a full 1TB of unformatted storage capacity.

The Travelstar 5K500 will be available around the world in February, not only at 500GB but also in a 400GB model.

That's the same timeframe rival drive maker Fujitsu is expecting to get its 320GB 2.5in drive out the door. Western Digital, for one, has been offering 320GB hard drives for laptops since October 2007.

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