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Hitachi hawks a 320GB notebook drive

The hard drive maker follows Fujitsu into the high-end notebook drive market.

Following Fujitsu, Hitachi is now stepping up to the plate with its 320GB hard drive for notebooks that also spins at 7,200rpm.

Hitachi 320GB hard drive

The 2.5-inch Travelstar 7K320 can read and write data at 7,200rpm, which is the fastest spin speed for drives currently on the market.

Hitachi is the third-largest producer of hard disk drives in the world, with 17.3 percent share of the market. The leader is Seagate Technology, which owns more than a third of the hard drive space.

Battery life is often a concern with faster spinning drives, but Hitachi claims it has improved this drive's battery performance by 22 percent over its previous versions. It sucks up 1.8 watts of power when reading/writing data (the same as its 5,400rpm drive) and uses 0.8 watts when idling, versus the 5,400's 0.55 watts.

Hitachi's director of consumer and commercial hard drives, Larry Swezey, said with the release of the Travelstar 7K320, Hitachi "fixed the stumbling block" for 7,200rpm drives. Namely, that they couldn't hold the same capacity as drives that spin at 5,400rpm.

Fujitsu announced its version back in March, but says its customers won't get the drives until June. So, if Hitachi is quick about it, it could beat it to the punch. We'll see--Hitachi says it's drives are being built in the factory right now, and will be available to its customers later this month.