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Hitachi Reveals Super Skinny 7mm HDDs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 18 comments
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Hitachi is launching its new Z-Series of HDDs sporting a 7-mm thickness.

Hard drive manufacturer Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Tuesday launched the Z-Series family of TravelStar and CinemaStar 2.5-inch HDDs, sporting a super-thin size of 7-mm and packed with up to 320 GB of storage on a single platter. This new series will include the TravelStar Z7K320 family, the world's first 7200 RPM, 7-mm 2.5-inch drives, and the CinemaStar Z5K320 family, the first 7-mm drives optimized for audio/video devices.

"From laptops and handhelds to PVRs and blade servers, Hitachi’s new 7-mm Z-series family of TravelStar and CinemaStar drives are designed as a direct replacement for today’s standard 2.5-inch, 9.5-mm hard drives," the company said. "All Hitachi Z-series drives feature common connectors and common mounting points for simple integration into existing systems, and enable greater design flexibility to differentiate and meet market demands for new, thinner, lighter and more robust devices."

In addition to the thin size, the new TravelStar Z7K320 family uses 16 MB of cache and a Serial ATA 3Gb/sec interface. Apparently they're also eco-friendly, incorporating a halogen-free design while offering 1.8 watts read/write power and 0.8 watts low power idle for more unplugged computing time.

Hitachi is also launching the TravelStar Z5K320 family, a less-beefy version with 5400 RPM, 8 MB of cache, and a Serial ATA 3Gb/sec interface. These drives are also slated as eco-friendly, offering 1.6 watts of read/write power and 0.55 watts of low power idle.

As for the CinemaStar Z5K320 family, these 2.5-inch drives provide 5400 RPM, 8 MB of cache, and a Serial ATA 3Gb/sec interface. This family is particularly unique thanks to the 1.9 idle / 2.0 seek bels, making them the quietest 7-mm 2.5-inch drives thus far "for bedroom-quiet systems." Hitachi said that volume shipments of the Travelstar Z5K320 will begin in July. The Travelstar Z7K320 and the CinemaStar Z5K320 drive families will begin to ship in August.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    fatkid35 , June 1, 2010 9:35 PM
    Gin FushichoI'm seriously confused on the size. is it 7mm's or 2.5 inches?


    thats what your girlfriend said.
  • 10 Hide
    razor512 , June 1, 2010 9:09 PM
    Hopefully it performs as well as other drives or no one will buy it.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    jerreece , June 1, 2010 8:56 PM
    Hard Drives just keep getting small and smaller, and storage space bigger. This is a good thing. Hopefully they continue to use less power too!
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    razor512 , June 1, 2010 9:09 PM
    Hopefully it performs as well as other drives or no one will buy it.
  • 2 Hide
    jellico , June 1, 2010 9:16 PM
    Yeah, these are still the first choice for laptops since SSDs are still quite expensive. It's pretty cool how they keep shrinking these things. I wonder what the lower limit on size will end up being.
  • 4 Hide
    unrealpinky , June 1, 2010 9:18 PM
    These drives have the potential to being on par or better with existing 5400rpm hard drives due to the single and lighter platter. Would definitely like to see some benchmarks on these.
  • 2 Hide
    Anomalyx , June 1, 2010 9:33 PM
    Gin FushichoI'm seriously confused on the size. is it 7mm's or 2.5 inches?

    7mm thick, 2.5 in wide
  • 23 Hide
    fatkid35 , June 1, 2010 9:35 PM
    Gin FushichoI'm seriously confused on the size. is it 7mm's or 2.5 inches?


    thats what your girlfriend said.
  • 0 Hide
    jrharbort , June 1, 2010 9:58 PM
    Finally some competition for the 7mm hard drives released by seagate a few months ago. These will finally allow some super thin notebooks and netbooks that currently have to accommodate thicker 9.5mm drives. The lower power consumption is also a huge plus for longer battery life.

    320GB for a single platter isn't bad either. My current hitachi drive is a two platter, 320GB model.
  • 0 Hide
    Pyroflea , June 1, 2010 10:19 PM
    That's pretty cool, these things are getting ridiculously small. They need to start making other hardware smaller as well. Imagine a high-end, low poer, Mini-ITX gaming platform? That'd be awesome.
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , June 1, 2010 10:39 PM
    Quote:
    these things are getting ridiculously small


    They have put hard drives into camera memory cards, which makes a 7mm drive seem pretty big, but 7mm drives would be good for touchpad devices and so forth.
  • 0 Hide
    harth13 , June 1, 2010 11:21 PM
    i think i'm gonna start calling it weak drive
  • 0 Hide
    Nintendork , June 1, 2010 11:27 PM
    Actually, reducing power consumption on HD's is not a way to improve battery life. You just a few minutes more, the real deal is on the screen.

    That huge issue will change when OLED/AMOLED lands on laptops. Until that comes batteries need more juice/space.
  • 0 Hide
    tharkis842 , June 1, 2010 11:34 PM
    Very nice, these should go well in mainstream laptops/netbooks and/or htpc's if people so desired. Good power ratings and nice size.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2010 11:39 PM
    4 of those in one case with 4 sata connectors. A quad RAID pack HD. You could call it the quad core HD lol. Still a lot cheaper than RAID SSD's if the bus allows suchs speeds that is. Smaller is fine for compact computers but still give me performance and more storage. It's not like that I want to connect a monitor, keyboard or other peripherals to a wristwatch computer.
  • 0 Hide
    jrharbort , June 2, 2010 12:04 AM
    NintendorkActually, reducing power consumption on HD's is not a way to improve battery life. You just a few minutes more, the real deal is on the screen.That huge issue will change when OLED/AMOLED lands on laptops. Until that comes batteries need more juice/space.

    LED-LCD is actually very good in terms of power usage. A 15.6" screen averages abut 10W usage. The real problem we face now is the limitations of lithium based batteries. While companies are trying to keep newer processors, chipsets, GPUs, and other components within a certain consumption range, we're starting to really push the limits of what lithium ion batteries can sustain.
  • 0 Hide
    eastcoaster , June 2, 2010 5:07 AM
    jrharbortLED-LCD is actually very good in terms of power usage. A 15.6" screen averages abut 10W usage. The real problem we face now is the limitations of lithium based batteries. While companies are trying to keep newer processors, chipsets, GPUs, and other components within a certain consumption range, we're starting to really push the limits of what lithium ion batteries can sustain.



    Anyone want to bet that some huge company out there hasn't developed or is in development for small fuel cells to replace the lithium battery? Who ever does, will have a license to print money.
  • 2 Hide
    figgus , June 2, 2010 12:55 PM
    __-_-_-__really... what's the difference from 7.5mm drives?

    0.5mm, of course.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 4, 2010 12:30 AM
    Great innovation, though wouldn't the extraordinary thinness cause some gaps when installed in notebook bays designed for 9.5mm?