Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the industry's highest capacity one-disk 7mm HDD. The new 5,400 RPM Travelstar Z5K500 drive has just 500GB of space but its slim profile makes it the best cost per gigabyte and gigabyte per cubic millimeter (GB/mm3) drive when compared to other SSDs and HDDs. Hitachi is also releasing the G-Technology G-DRIVE slim which, with the Travelstar Z5K500 drive inside, makes it the thinnest 2.5-inch external 500GB HDD in the world.

The Travelstar Z5K500 features an 8MB cache, a SATA 3Gbps interface, and a physical sector size of 4,096 bytes. The drive has a power consumption of 1.8W when reading or writing, and just 0.55W when low power or idle. It works at 1.9 bels when idle and 2.1 bels when seeking (quieter than most ambient noise in a household).

The space savings can be used to produce thinner devices, add battery capacity, increase shock robustness, or improve internal airflow. Hitachi's argument is that these are all better uses of the volume in a system than shipping a partially empty 2.5-inch hard drive with only one disk.

"Ultra thin and light devices are, without argument, a growing trend. In order for these innovative designs to live up to their true potential, they need rugged, reliable high-capacity hard drives that can withstand the rigors of a portable environment and satisfy the storage demands of their end users, and Hitachi continues to deliver," Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at Hitachi GST, said in a statement. "As the industry's only 500GB one disk product and the only second generation 7mm product family, Hitachi continues to push the bar higher, and is leading the shift from 9.5mm 2.5-inch drives to 7mm 2.5-inch drives across a broad range of market segments."