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5GB hard disk in IBM notebooks

The largest-capacity compact hard disk drive to date allows portable computers to store massive amounts of data.

IBM (IBM) has developed the largest-capacity compact hard disk drive to date, allowing the storage of massive amounts of data in diminutive portable computers.

The IBM hard drive can store as much as 5GB of information in notebook PCs. Currently, cutting-edge notebooks are available with up to a 3GB hard drive, while 1GB and 2GB drives are more common.

Notebooks are being purchased more frequently for desktop replacements or for multimedia presentations. As a result, the need to store more data primarily on the notebook's hard drive has risen.

IBM's 5GB hard drive, which measures 17mm high, will go into high-end notebook computers such as IBM's ThinkPad 760 sometime this fall. The company will also offer a 12.5mm 4GB hard drive for use in ultralight and value-line portable computers.

IBM says other customers include Dell and Gateway 2000.

The new drives use what IBM calls MRX (magnetoresistive extended) technology to write information to the disk, which allows for the writing of more information in the same amount of disk area compared with current disk heads.

IBM says it will ship samples of the drives to original equipment manufacturers in July. No pricing was announced.