To support two new growth trends in the consumer notebook segment -- hard drive upgrade and external storage -- Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is first to offer a complete upgrade solution that consumers can install themselves. The solution includes both a new internal hard drive for upgrade and tools to create an external storage device using the existing hard drive. The Hitachi Travelstar 2.5-inch Hard Drive Upgrade Kit will be available later this month at major retail stores nationwide.
The new Travelstar upgrade kit consists of a 5400 RPM 40, 60, 80 or 100 GB(a) capacity hard drive, complete installation instructions, Apricorn EZ Gig II(TM) Hard Drive Cloning and Upgrade software, a high-speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 hard drive enclosure (USB 1.1 compatible), a one-meter USB cable and auxiliary power cables. The Travelstar hard drives will also be available in retail stores as stand-alone internal drives which are recommended for professional installation.
Over the past several years, there has been a notable upswing in the use of notebook PCs as desktop replacement systems. The explosive growth of Internet downloads, digital entertainment and personal data stored on hard drives is prompting consumers to use external storage devices as back-up solutions or as data repositories. The combination of these market trends makes Hitachi's dual-purpose hard drive upgrade solution well-timed.
"The Travelstar 2.5-inch Hard Drive Upgrade Kit represents the third Hitachi hard drive product family to be introduced into retail, in response to strong demand from our customers," said John Osterhout, director, worldwide retail business, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Hitachi's technology leadership in the 2.5-inch segment puts our Travelstar drives in high demand by consumers who are looking for cutting-edge technology to increase the speed and capacity of their notebook hard drive."
"Due to the maturity and reliability of notebook PC technology, consumers are finding it less necessary to trade in their entire systems," said Jerry Kagele, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Bell Microproducts. "What consumers want is an easy and inexpensive solution to boost data access times and storage capacity, which they can easily do by upgrading their hard drive. We believe Hitachi's strong brand in the consumer space makes the Travelstar upgrade kit a desirable option for consumers."
Hitachi's entry into retail with a 5,400 RPM 2.5-inch product taps the highest-growth segment for notebook hard drive upgrades. 5,400 RPM hard drives represent the natural upgrade progression for most notebook users, given that the vast majority of hard drives used in notebook systems today are 4,200 RPM.
Hitachi led the introduction of hard drives into the retail channel, first with the one-inch Microdrive digital media in 1999 and then the 3.5-inch Deskstar products in 2003. The addition of the Travelstar 2.5-inch product line marks the start of a broader effort to reinforce Hitachi's presence in the retail market worldwide. Hitachi plans to expand its retail presence by increasing the number of products available and growing the number of retail establishments and geographic locations it supports. This is part of a long-term plan to strengthen Hitachi's brand and position in the hard drive retail segment.
The Travelstar 2.5-inch Upgrade Kit will be available later this month at retail stores nationwide. Both the stand-alone drive and the drive with upgrade kit are available in 40-, 60-, 80- and 100-GB capacities. MSRP for the stand-alone drive ranges from USD $109-189; pricing for the upgrade kit ranges from $139-219.