Hitachi GST Reveals 7mm 2.5" Hard Drive For Slimmer Than Slim Notebooks

It had to happen at some point. The standard 9.5mm height hard drive has been around for years, and even in super-thin notebooks of today, that drive has managed to fit. Snugly, of course, but still fit. But with new notebook concepts pushing the boundaries of thickness, there had to come a hard drive maker with a plan for slimming things down. Hitachi GST has done just that with their Z-Series Family, which is described as the "industry's highest capacity and fastest 7mm ultra-thin and light hard drives."

These new 7mm drives are meant for the slimmest of machines, and we probably won't see them used across the board for a few more years still. Both the Travelstar and CinemaStar lines are getting the new, slimmer model, with capacities offered as high as 320GB. It also spins at 7200rpm, so there's a speed advantage as well. The company is hoping that these drives will help lead the shift from 9.5mm 2.5" drives to 7mm 2.5" drives, and a great many tablets could also take advantage.

While the size is still somewhat unique, the ports and connectors are not; standard interfaces will have no problem fitting in with the new HDD. No prices are mentioned yet, but volume shipments are expected by July. Expect your next thin-and-light to be thinner than ever if it's using one of these. Now, if only we could figure out how to slim those optical drives down as well...

New Hitachi Z-Series Family Includes:

Travelstar Z7K320 Family – Industry’s first 7200 RPM, 7mm, 2.5-inch hard drives

The Hitachi Travelstar Z7K320 drive with a 16MB cache and a Serial ATA 3Gb/sec interface provides high capacity, performance and durability on a proven platform for quality and reliability. For use in notebook PCs, ultra portables and netbooks, and compact desktop systems, the Travelstar Z7K320 drive delivers up to 18 percent better application performance than 5400 RPM models of the same capacity, turning netbooks and laptops into performance-leading solutions.

Best-of-breed acoustics and eco-friendly features such as low power and a halogen-free design make the Travelstar Z7K320 drive a smart choice. The drive offers 1.8 watts (W) read/write power and 0.8W low power idle for more unplugged computing time. It also delivers 2.3 idle / 2.4 seek bels for a quieter, richer audio-listening experience for music, movies and games.

Travelstar Z5K320 Family – Industry’s highest capacity, 7mm, 5400 RPM 2.5-inch hard drive at 320GB

The new Hitachi Travelstar Z5K320 – a 7mm, 5400 RPM, 2.5-inch, 8MB cache, Serial ATA 3Gb/sec interface hard drive – meets the needs of mobile and ultra-portable applications in an eco-friendly environment. The Travelstar Z5K320 drive offers 1.6W read/write power and 0.55W low power idle, and delivers quiet acoustics at 1.9 idle / 2.0 seek bels.

CinemaStar Z5K320 Family – Industry’s first 7mm drives for A/V streaming devices

Hitachi CinemaStar drives are specifically designed for A/V streaming devices and power the most popular set-top boxes (STB), PVRs, portable video players, DVR-enabled TVs and video surveillance systems in the market today. This fifth generation 2.5-inch, 5400 RPM, 8MB cache, Serial ATA 3Gb/sec interface CinemaStar drive continues this tradition, delivering the right balance of capacity, power-management and outstanding low acoustics.

Continuing to push acoustic performance, as well as hard drive and systems reliability, Hitachi has implemented several design improvements to enhance its new CinemaStar Z5K320 drive family. At 1.9 idle / 2.0 seek bels, the new CinemaStar Z5K320 family delivers the quietest 7mm 2.5-inch experience for bedroom-quiet systems. Reliability enhancements include an improved protection scheme for power fluctuation and enhanced Thermal Fly-Height Control for improved error rates.