One of the things that will allow us to get more storage capacity inside our small and thin ultraportable devices and netbooks is thinner hard drives. Hitachi has announced a new HDD that is a typical 2.5-inch notebook form factor that is crazy thin at only 7mm thick.
The HDD is able to be so thin thanks to needing only a single platter. That single platter doesn't mean a small amount of storage though; the new Travelstar Z5K500 HDD has 500GB of storage on that single platter. Hitachi GST claims that the new drive is the thinnest 500GB HDD in the world.
The thin drive has the best cost per gigabyte and gigabyte per cubic millimeter on the market when compared to SSDs and some other HDDs. The drive needs only 1.8W of power in read and write operations and has a 0.55W low power idle and it's very quiet as well with 2.1 bels of sound output during seek operation. That means the drive is quieter than the ambient noise in most homes making it virtually silent. The drive will ship this month at undisclosed pricing.