Hitachi has unveiled a new 500GB notebook drive that might make you feel a tad better about not investing in an SSD. The Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 squeezes 500GB of storage into a 2.5" form factor, has a rotational speed of 7200RPM, uses 3Gb/s SATA, and is designed for high-demand systems.

Hitachi claims that the 7K500 is the quickest drive in its class and delivers up to 56% higher capacity and 16% better application performance than its predecessor. It is also a lightweight in power consumption, only using .69W at idle, and 1.8W during read/write operations. Among the more noteworthy features is Bulk Data Encryption (BDE), which allows users to encrypt all data as it's written.

Hitachi is shipping a limited supply of the 7K500 to top tier OEMs, and volume shipments will begin this month in capacities ranging from 120GB to 500GB. The company will also make available an "enhanced-availability" version in November, which is more suited to use in systems requiring constant operation.