Hitachi announces 7mm 500GB TravelStar Z7K

February 22, 2012 // 2:14 p.m.

Tags: #hard-drive #hitachi #msata #sata #travelstar #travelstar-z7k #travelstar-z7k500 #ultraboook

Hitachi's storage arm has announced a new product in preparation for the expected flood of Ultrabook designs to follow Intel's Ivy Bridge processor launch: the TravelStar Z7K series.

While the majority of Ultrabooks opt for solid-state storage, there's a lot to be said for spinning platter drives. They're cheaper, they're more capacious, and while slower they're more than fast enough for the majority of common uses of a laptop.

There is, however, one slight problem: they're also pretty bulky. The standard height of a 2.5in laptop hard drive comes in at 9mm, with some of the higher capacity models stretching as high as 12.5mm. If you're building an ultra-slim Ultrabook, they're pretty much out of the question.

Which is where the TravelStar Z7K series comes in. Available in 250GB, 350GB and 500GB capacities, the TravelStar Z7K series uses a single platter which helps to keep the overall size down. As a result, even the largest 500GB model sits in a height of just 7mm.

Despite its svelte dimensions, the specifications haven't suffered. Being Hitachi's second-generation high-performance 7mm drive design, the Z7K family comes as standard running at 7,200rpm, features 32MB of cache and a SATA 6Gb/s connection to the motherboard. Hitachi is also pointing out that its small stature means plenty of room for an mSATA SSD to be used as a staging area for improved performance.

What Hitachi hasn't yet shared, however, is the pricing. It has confirmed that qualification samples have already shipped to manufacturers with volume production in March, meaning it's likely we'll see at least a few of the first round of Ivy Bridge-based Ultrabooks packing a TravelStar.

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