Hitachi Rolls Out First 500-GB Laptop Drives

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Notebook computers can be as powerful as desktops these days, especially as hard-disk makers like Hitachi Ltd. grab industry bragging rights by unveiling a 500-gigabyte drive for laptops.

The 500 GB drive is the beefiest one yet for laptops — enough to hold up to 500 hours of digital video, 178 standard-definition, feature-length movies, 250 games or 125,000 four-minute songs, Hitachi said.

Currently, the largest laptop drive on the market is a 320 GB model by Western Digital Corp.

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Hitachi said Thursday that its 500 GB drive would be available to computer manufacturers in February.

Asustek Computer, based in Taiwan, said it would use two of the drives to create the world's first laptops with a monster capacity of 1 terabyte.

It was just last year when desktop PCs or external storage devices began to feature 1 TB drives.

The Asus M50 and M70 laptops will be available in February and March, respectively.

Prices were not immediately available.