The Drive and its Companion
First off we take a look at the package. Hitachi has targeted this at the retail sector and is designed to be sold in stores like Tandy, Dick Smith and so on. This is a commercially available product that you should not only find in your local PC shop, but retail stores that sell PC's and PC components like K-Mart and such.
The package is white with a red band around it. The front has some basic info on what you can expect to gain from this product.
The back has some basic info on how to install the drive into your notebook as well as demonstrating how to install your old hard disk from your notebook into the external USB carry case, this allowing you to keep the data you originally had on it; or if you have transferred that over to the new drive then it allows you to format it and use it as a new storage unit. If your HDD in your laptop is sufficient and you don't want to upgrade it, you can simply put the 200GB HDD straight into the caddy and use it as the external drive; it's entirely up to you.
The user manual supplied gives you more detail on how to install the drive into your laptop. However, to locate the HDD and remove it you will need your notebook user manual to do this along with a few tools. If you're not confident of this, take it to a local PC shop where they can do this for you extremely easily.
Creeping along, we come to the caddy that is included in the kit. It's a simple two-part plastic kit with a top and bottom; once you separate it there is a small PCB inside with SATA ports on it to connect either your old Laptop HDD or the one supplied in the kit, this depending on which way you want to go. If your notebook uses the older 44-pin IDE interface, you can't install the new HDD to your system or use the old one in the caddy. If you do want this kit, for these kinds of notebooks you will simply have to use the supplied drive in the caddy.
On the back of the unit there is a power input port, a single On/Off switch and a 4-pin USB port. Due to drive requirements you need to supply extra power to the caddy.
This is done though two USB cables, one has a USB port at one end to plug into the notebook with a power plug at the other end. The second USB cable that is supplied is the data cable with USB plugs at each end; in order to use this unit you need two USB ports spare on your notebook, one for power and one for data. This unfortunately will drain battery power a lot quicker.
The drive that is packed in with the kit is Hitachi's latest notebook monster. It holds a total of 200GB of data. The thing that makes this drive particularly interesting is that it runs at 7200RPM which is the same as your standard desktop drive, and it comes with 16MB of cache memory which is also comparable to mid-range desktop drives.
The drive's underside contains no exposed circuits; sandwiching them between the PCB and the bottom of the drive case keeps them out of harms way. The drive is part of the Serial ATA Generation 2.5 spec, meaning it supports the 3Gbps or 300MB/s Host to Buffer interface speed, this improving speed while reducing power over Parallel ATA designs. The drive only requires 5v in order to run, so it's even a good looking drive if you wanted to build a power conscious desktop or for users building Mini-ITX PC's on VIA's mATX boards.
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