May 9, 2008 Hitachi has begun shipment of its fourth-generation 7,200 RPM mobile hard drive, the Travelstar 7K320. The new drive delivers 60 percent higher capacity than its predecessor, while improving application performance by 12 percent and power consumption by 22 percent. The 320GB Travelstar 7K320 features a SATA 3Gb/s interface and fast media transfer rates to provide faster file copying and document retrieval, better graphics and improved game performance. A best-in-class operating shock protection of 400Gs minimizes the effects of rough handling and vibration and with power utilization on par with Hitachi’s 5,400 RPM mobile drives, users can enjoy more “unplugged” notebook computing time.

Gartner Research is predicting worldwide mobile PC shipments will surpass global desk-based PC shipments in the second half of 2009 - an evolution that has been driven by the ever improving performance-for-price of mobile PCs relative to desktop PCs. Hitachi believes the greater availability of 7,200 RPM hard drives will help accelerate this trend, as more users realize the benefits of combining desktop-class performance with the convenience and portability of a notebook.

The drive is offered with optional Bulk Data Encryption for users wanting increased data security. When employing bulk data encryption, data is scrambled using a key as it is being written to the disk and then descrambled with the key as it is retrieved. Thus, data encryption at the hard-drive level represents a more sophisticated approach of securing users’ data and is generally considered to be virtually impenetrable. Another benefit is that it speeds and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data on the drive is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite. BDE models ship exclusively with a SATA 1.5Gb/s interface. Hitachi also plans to ship enhanced-availability (EA) models, designed to provide high-capacity storage for low-duty-cycle, 24x7 applications.

The Travelstar 7K320 is now shipping to customers worldwide and is estimated to retail for around USD$220. The enhanced-availability version of the drive is expected to ship in the third quarter of 2008.

Via Hitachi.