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Hitachi slips past Fujitsu with speedy 320GB laptop drive

7,200rpm, 2.5-inch drive out-firsts 'world's first'

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Hitachi is updating its TravelStar laptop hard drive range with a more capacious 320GB disk that spins at 7,200rpm.

The refresh follows Fujitsu's announcement of its own 320GB, 7,200rpm notebook disk drive, for which the company staked a "world's first" claim back in March.

As we pointed out then - the timing left an opening for a rival hard drive makers to swoop in and beat Fujisu to market. Here's that prophesy fulfilled on cue. Fujitsu says its MHZ2 BJ 320GB will go on sale at the end of June. Hitachi is shipping its version now.

The 2.5-inch Travelstar 7K320 beats its year-old 7,200rpm predecessor by an additional 120GB capacity. Hitachi also claims an application performance gain of 12 per cent, and reduced power consumption by 22 per cent. Power specs are: 1.8W read/write power and 0.2W standby power.

The drive connects across a SATA 3Gb/s interface, or alternatively 1.5Gb/s in models featuring on-board automatic data encryption technology.

Hitachi's drive is gunning for notebook builders, compact desktops, gaming systems, video surveillance systems, and blade servers. For the latter segment Hitachi plans to ship "enhanced-availability" models, specifically designed for low-duty cycle, 24x7 applications. Customers will need to wait until the third quarter of 2008 for the EA models to ship.

The Travelstar 7k320 will be available for around $220 (~£113). ®

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