Japan's Toshiba has managed to squeeze a 5G byte hard disk drive into a Type II PC Card -- a development that will be welcomed by road warriors and users of portable digital multimedia devices everywhere.
At 5G bytes the drive has greater capacity than a DVD Video disc, which can hold 4.7G bytes of data, and it can store five times as much data as IBM's 1G byte Microdrive. The Microdrive is less than half the size, fitting into a Compact Flash card, but either fits easily in a shirt pocket. Toshiba's PC Card weighs in at 55 grams against the Microdrive's 16 grams.
Most other PC Card hard disk drives have required a Type III slot, so in most cases they occupy both Type II slots on a notebook. Toshiba's new drive takes up just one of those slots. Last year, Toshiba began selling a 2G byte hard disk drive for a Type II slot.
The new card, the PAMHD005, will go on sale in Japan on July 19 and is expected to retail for about 50,000 yen (US$400). It has a single 1.8-inch platter, a two-head drive with rotational speed of 3,990 rpm (revolutions per minute), an average seek time of 15 milliseconds and a data transfer rate of 5.2M bytes per second.
Toshiba said it has plans to sell the hard disk drive overseas but has yet to decide when it will do so.