Laptop users are as data hungry as desktop users, and hence laptop hard drive manufacturers have had to manufacture laptop hard drives with higher capacities. Along with a higher capacity, the focus is shifting to producing laptop hard drives that consume less power with faster performance. If you happen to already have a laptop but are running short on disk space, then it is time to get yourself a 500 GB hard drive like the Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 HTS725050A9A364, which runs at 7,200 RPM like its desktop counterpart. Hitachi is a well-known name in the laptop hard drive segment and we have the above mentioned hard drive in our lab today. Let us find out how it fares in the tests.
The Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 hard drive boasts of a huge 500 GB capacity in a 2.5-inch form factor. This is Hitachi's latest generation mobile hard drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording technology for such large capacities and has an areal density of 375 Gb/sq inch. The drive is supposed to have a better performance with lower power consumption. It contains two glass platters with four recording and reading heads. The rotational speed of the spindle is 7,200 RPM.
Only a small part of the electronics is exposed below
This laptop hard drive is just 9.5 mm thick, making it well-suited for slim desktop PCs as well as all laptop models.
The drive has the popular SATA interface making it suitable to be connected in a laptop as well as a desktop or a drive casing. This particular drive has the SATA II or 3Gbps interface.
Some drives in this series are available with Bulk Data Encryption or BDE, which is a hardware encryption of data. Using the BDE, your data can be encrypted on the drive and unlike software encryption, it will not be available even when the drive gets stolen and is connected in another computer unless the correct password is entered.
The Travelstar 7K500 drives also feature Rotational Vibration Safeguard or RVS technology. Many laptops these days contain premium quality speaker systems that introduce a good amount of vibrations in the laptop casing and this may not be good for a rotating hard drive platter. RVS serves as an early warning system for the drive by enabling it to sense disturbance in advance and take the necessary steps to stabilize the drive head and maintain the performance.
These days there is an increasing awareness for "greener" products and this drive is one such product. Not only is it acoustically quiet but also consumes less power. According to its specifications it consumes just 5.5 W at full load, while it takes up as little as 0.69 W in the low power idle mode, which is good when you consider that this is a 7,200 RPM drive. This goes a long way into its longevity and also in ensuring a better battery life for laptops and netbooks. It is more shock resistant and can take up to 400G of operational shock and up to 1000G non-operational. It features other technologies too such as Thermal Fly-height Control (TFC) for better soft error rate for improved reliability and TrueTrack Technology for tracking accuracy in high shock or vibration.