There’s a lot happening in the hard drive space – prices have risen, all due to the Thailand floods affecting hard drive factories. But, that hasn’t stopped development of new hard drives and every major manufacturer has new models coming out, slowly. Hitachi has gone ahead and shown off a new 2.5-inch notebook hard drive – the Travelstar Z7K500, which happens to be the world’s thinnest hard drive, out there. In height, it’s just 7mm. In terms of capacity, it’s not much, as compared to other models by other brands – it’s only got 500GB of space, and Hitachi will be selling 250 and 320GB models as well. Hitachi is able to pull off this model by using a single platter on the hard drive, just like other manufacturers have done for their slim models of drives.

Thinnest one yet

Thinnest one yet

Brendan Collins, VP of Product Marketing at Hitachi spoke about how thin drives were the future and are the happening thing, right now. He said that the market was open to their 5400 and 7200 rpm drives. These drives are likely to end up in ultrathin notebooks, such as the Ultrabooks being launched by all major notebook manufacturers, these days. There’s also a clear market for other consumer electronics and also for industrial products. 

The Z7K500 has 32 MB of cache and the 2.5-inch is SATA3 (6Gbps) compliant. Power consumption is down, too – the drive only takes 1.8W, while under load during read and write tasks. This number drops to 0.8W, as the drive switches to idle mode. The product isn’t out for sale in the market yet, and this will only take place in March.

Hitachi emphasises that existing products can be replaced with this drive, as there won’t be any compatibility issues, due to the existing standard interface and product design. There’s no pricing available for the drives, as of now. The hard drive market is volatile and there’s no sign of major price drops in the near future. Solid state drives are likely to pick up pace, this year, as NAND chips drop in price.

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