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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [11.21.05]
Manufactured by: Hitachi & Seagate



Earlier this year, many people were surprised to find out that for the first time, Notebook sales surpassed desktop sales. Well, perhaps not everyone; notebooks are quickly catching up to desktops in performance (and in many cases size), and prices are constantly dropping. If you pick the right sale, you can pick up a Dell notebook with a 17" widescreen display, equipped with a GeForce 6800 for roughly the same price as a similarly equipped desktop.

However the notebook's achilles' heel has always been the hard drive. For the longest time, 5400 RPM drives were considered 'performance' products. And aside from Hitachi's 60GB 7200 RPM drive available in many high end notebooks (most of which are gobbled up by Dell), there hasn't been much to upgrade to (and in many cases, 60GB is a downgrade in size from what many notebooks come with).

That is about to change this month, with 100GB drives launched from both Seagate and Hitachi, both of which are available in PATA and SATA formats in capacities of 60, 80, and 100GB.

Hitachi Travelstar 7K100

The 7K100 is actually Hitachi's 2nd generation of 7200 RPM drives. As mentioned, they have been making 7200 RPM drives with the capacity of 60GB for some time now. Quite a few improvements have been made, specifically to shock tolerance - it has been beefed up to handle up to 300G's of shock under operation, compared to 200G's on the old drive. The new drive is equipped with a pair of 50GB platters, while the old one used a pair of 30GB disks.

Seagate Momentus 7200.1

As the name implies, the 7200.1 is Seagate's first forray into 7200 RPM notebook drives. However they have been making 5400 and 4200 RPM drives for some time. Like the Hitachi drives, the Momentus is formatted with a pair of 50GB platters. However operating shock tolerance is a bit lower, at 250G's. Non-operational shock tolerance is also lower, at 850G compared to Hitachi's 1000G's. Seagate seems to be more confident in their drives though, as they offer a 5 year warranty on their drives, while Hitachi only offers 3 years of coverage on theirs.

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