Fujitsu Announces 500 GB Notebook Hard Drive

Sunnyvale (CA) - Terabyte notebooks could be hitting the market at the end of the second quarter of this year as Fujitsu is preparing to roll out the first 500 GB 2.5" mainstream hard drives.

The company's MHZ2 BT drives are scheduled to begin shipping in May and target desktop PCs, notebooks, digital video recorders (DVR), and external hard drives. Initially, the 4200 rpm drives will be available in versions with 400 GB and 500 GB and will appeal to users who simply need lots of storage space in a compact form factor, without a particular need of speedy read and write performance.

Fujitsu claims that the MHZ2 BT, which will be available with SATA and SATA II interfaces, consumes about 1.8 watts during read/write processes, which is at the low-end of its class, but about 25% higher than 2.5" solid state disk drives, which typically consume about 1.4 - 1.5 watts under load. According to the manufacturer, the new hard drive is rated at an idle power consumption of 0.5 watts; in stand-by mode, the drive consumes about 0.13 watts.

While these new hard drives won't deliver very fast data transfers, they certainly increase the distance to the still expensive SSDs - which are currently selling in the $700-$800 range for 64 GB. The 500 GB model may be especially interesting for small form factor PCs as well as desktop replacement notebooks and mobile workstations, which now extend their storage space to up to 1.5 TB, for example in Eurocom's Phantom D90xC.