by eugene

Hitachi Intros the 5K250

This week Hitachi expands its 5400 RPM Travelstar 2.5" notebook-oriented drive line to 250 GB, joining products previously announced by Samsung and Western Digital. Hitachi's press release in particular touts the Travelstar's history of leading performance, one confirmed by StorageReview's own testing... the drive's predecessor, the 5K160, offers excellent performance as outlined in our recently-published review. In addition to performance claims, the company touts an optional drive-level encryption scheme that protects sensitive data found on easily stolen or misplaced notebook devices.

Hitachi Ships Quarter-terabyte Laptop Hard Drive with Extras – Superfast, Energy Frugal, Road Tough
New 5400 RPM 2.5-Inch Hard Drive Features Optional Encryption Technology

SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 5, 2007 – Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi) is today announcing volume shipment of the industry’s highest-performing and lowest power-consuming laptop hard disk drive at a quarter terabyte of capacity. The Travelstar™ 5K250 hard drive combines the fastest application performance in PCMark testing with the best power-efficiency of any 250 gigabyte 1 (GB) 5400 RPM drive in its class. The newest 5400 RPM 2.5-inch hard drive from Hitachi – developed for notebook PCs, external storage devices, gaming consoles and other mobile devices – also features a host of category-leading features including 400G shock protection, quiet acoustics and optional Bulk Data Encryption for hard-drive level data security.

The Travelstar 5K250 hard drive offers 56 percent more capacity, a 23 percent shock improvement and an 8 percent overall application performance boost over its predecessor, the Travelstar 5K160 hard drive. According to the PCMark05 Benchmark, the Travelstar 5K250 hard drive offers 10 to 25 percent faster application performance than competing 5400 RPM drives.

“Today’s notebook PC users are sophisticated and expect high returns on investment. The Travelstar 5K250 with ultra-high capacity of a quarter-terabyte enables our notebook users to create or access multimedia files with speed, assuring enhanced efficiency,” said Campbell Kan, Vice President of Mobile Computing Business Unit, Acer Inc . “Acer is partnering with top-tier suppliers that help Acer accomplish its goal of designing empowering technologies that improve people’s lives at work or at leisure.”

The Hitachi Travelstar product line has maintained its position as the world’s most popular 2.5-inch hard drive for more than 15 years 2. The 5K250 uses perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology, which builds upon the highly-successful debut of the Travelstar 5K160 hard drives.

Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability version, the E5K250, which is designed for applications needing around-the-clock access in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers, point-of-sale terminals and video surveillance systems.

“The Travelstar 5K250 was built from the ground up for notebook PC users who demand high capacity, ruggedness, speed and power efficiency,” said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “With all of the improvements we’ve integrated into the 5K250, we are confident Hitachi will continue to maintain its leadership position in the 2.5-inch hard disk drive space.”

A Quarter Terabyte & Many Extras

The Travelstar 5K250 hard drive offers, gigabyte for gigabyte, the best combination of leadership characteristics in a 5400 RPM 2.5-inch hard drive:

* 250 GB of storage translates to 250 hours of video, 89 feature length movies, 125 games or 64,500 four-minute songs;
* 10- 25 percent faster application performance than competitive 5400 RPM, featuring maximum sustained data rate of 665 megabits per second;
* 1.8W read/write power and 0.55W low power idle means longer battery life for more “unplugged” notebook time;
* 400 G operating shock (1000 G non-operating shock) gives your data the best protection against bumps and rough handling.

Under Lock ‘n Key

Bulk Data Encryption 3 from Hitachi is a hard-drive level data security mechanism that essentially puts users’ data under lock and key for virtually impenetrable protection. It is offered as an option on the Travelstar 5K250 hard drive as well as the recently announced, Travelstar 7K200 hard drive, which is the 7200 RPM, high performance model of the product line.

Previously, data on a hard drive could be protected either through software-based encryption or a system-level password. However, hard-drive level encryption provides a higher level of benefit than both these options by offering better performance than software-based encryption and a higher level of security than system password protection.

In 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 is generally considered a more sophisticated approach to securing users’ data.

Another benefit to hard-drive level security is the data-erasing process. Today, hard drives must either be physically destroyed or the existing data must be written over and over before it can be safely discarded without fear of data piracy or identity theft. Bulk Data Encryption makes data-erasing unnecessary. By simply deleting the encryption key, the data on the hard drive is rendered unreadable and, thus, safe from prying eyes.

With the rise in notebook theft and the relative ease in which software-based password security can be compromised, Hitachi’s Bulk Data Encryption is an essential component for on-the-go notebook users.

1 1 GB = one billion bytes, accessible capacity may be less
2 IBM entered the 2.5-inch hard drive business in January 1991 and maintained the number one share position until selling the business to Hitachi in 2003; Hitachi has since defended this leadership share position
3 Encryption technology has no impact on the storage capacity of the hard drive
™Hitachi Global Storage Technologies trademarks are authorized for use in countries and jurisdictions in which Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has the right to use, market and advertise the brands. The Travelstar trademark is authorized for use in the Americas, EMEA and the following Asia-Pacific countries and jurisdictions: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan . Please contact Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for further information. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Technical Specifications

Travelstar 5K250 & E5K250

80/120/160/250 GB
9.5 mm in height
5400 RPM
205 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
1/1/2/2 glass disk platter (s)
2/2/3/4 TMR recording head(s)
1000 G/1ms non-operating shock
400 G/2ms operating shock
5.5 ms average latency
11 ms average read time
0.8 W active idle (not applicable to E5K250)
0.55 W low-power idle (not applicable to E5K250)
Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s, 1.5Gb/s encrypted, 3Gb/s; Serial ATA 3Gb/s (E5K250)
95/95/102/102 grams in weight
2.4 Bels typical idle acoustics
2.6 Bels typical operational acoustics

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is a storage technology leader, founded in 2003 through the combination of Hitachi’s and IBM’s hard disk drive businesses. Hitachi GST enables users to fully engage in the digital lifestyle by providing high-value hard disk storage in formats suitable for the office, on the road and in the home.

With its legacy in hard drive invention, Hitachi GST led the industry in celebrating the storage technology’s golden anniversary in 2006. The hard drive has had a profound effect on the computing and consumer electronics industries after five decades of innovation. That heritage lives on at Hitachi GST today through products that define the standard for hard drive miniaturization, capacity, performance and reliability.

With approximately 33,000 employees worldwide, Hitachi GST offers a comprehensive range of hard drive products for desktop computers, high-performance servers, notebooks and consumer devices. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007 ) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at