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 5GB, the drive has greater capacity than a DVD video disc, which can hold 4.7GB of data, and it can store five times as much data as IBM's 1GB Microdrive. The Microdrive is less than half the size, fitting into a CompactFlash card, but either fits easily in a shirt pocket. Toshiba's PC Card weighs in at 55g, making it 39g heavier than the Microdrive.
PC Card hard disk drives generally require 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 2GB hard disk drive for a Type II slot.
The new card, the PAMHD005, will go on sale in Japan on 19 July and is expected to retail for about 50,000 yen (£300). It has a single 1.8in platter, a two-head drive with rotational speed of 3,990rpm (revolutions per minute), an average seek time of 15ms (milliseconds) and a data transfer rate of 5.2MBps (megabytes per second).
Toshiba said it has plans to sell the hard disk drive in the UK but has yet to decide when it will do so.