The First 500GB Hard Drive Designed For a Laptop

Dennis Faas's picture

Hitachi Ltd. will soon become makers of the most powerful hard drive ever designed for a laptop computer when they reveal their astounding 500-gigabyte drive later this week. The Travelstar 5K500 will be the highest capacity drive ever developed for a portable notebook computer and hopes to finally put an end to the ever-increasing consumer demand for more drive space (for now).

To put into perspective just how much space comes with the new hard drives, the Travelstar 5K500 has the potential to store up to 500 hours of digital video, 178 standard-definition, feature length movies, 250 games or 125,000 four-minute songs. (Source:

The Hitachi hard drives offer an additional 180-gigabytes over the current leading laptop drive on the market; a 320 GB model designed by Western Digital Corp.

What's their secret?

Hitachi managed to increase the capacity of their 2.5-inch drives by adding a third disc platter to store data and crammed more data onto these platters than ever before. (Source:

Of course, having an extra platter means that the hard drives will be physically larger than previous drives and a number of analysts agree that the Travelstar 5K500 will be much too large to fit into most standard laptop models.

Hitachi responded to these concerns by issuing a public statement addressed to PC manufacturers worldwide, asking them to do all they can to accommodate their new larger drives since more storage capacity will always be a huge selling point for many laptop consumers, which in turn would equate to an increase in revenue all round.

The new drives are generating a considerable amount of international notoriety. Asustek Computer, based in Taiwan, has announced that they would be using two Travelstar 5K500 hard drives to experiment with the concept of creating the first laptop in the world with the capacity of holding 1 terabyte of information. (Source:

Hitachi said that the first batch of Travelstar 5K500 hard drives would be made available to computer manufacturers beginning sometime in February 2008.

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