Fujitsu follows Hitachi with kinda-2.5-inch hard drive

— 12:19 PM on February 25, 2008

Last month, Hitachi unveiled what it said was the world's first 500GB 2.5" hard drive, delivering 180GB more capacity than other companies' largest notebook drives. However, a quick look at the drive's specs showed Hitachi had cheated somewhat: the Travelstar 5K500 packed three platters instead of two. This change allowed Hitachi to get away with not having to increase areal density, but it also bumped the drive's thickness from the standard 9.5 mm to 12.5 mm, making it unlikely to fit in most notebooks.

Fujitsu apparently thought that was a pretty good idea anyway, because it, too, has announced a 12.5 mm-thick 500GB notebook hard drive. Fujitsu doesn't say how many platters its new baby has, but it does confirm in its specifications list that the MHZ2 BT measures 12.5 × 70 × 100 mm instead of the more common 9.5 × 70 × 100 mm. The drive is therefore likely of the three-platter variety.

Other specifications for the MHZ2 BT include a 4,200RPM spindle speed, 8MB buffer, 300MB/s Serial ATA interface, 12ms read seek time, 21dB idle noise output, and power consumption of 0.5W at idle and up to 1.8W when reading or writing. For reference, Hitachi's Travelstar 5K500 has a 5,400RPM spindle speed, 22dB idle noise rating, 0.7W idle power consumption, and 1.9W read/write power consumption. Other attributes are similar between the two drives.

Fujitsu says it plans to start rolling the MHZ2 BT series into the market at the end of May. The series will include both the aforementioned 500GB model and a lower-capacity 400GB one with the same specs.

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