Looks like the small-sized, high-capacity hard drive war is on. A few weeks ago it was Hitachi calling the shots with a 200 GB hard drive in the 2.5-inch form factor (shown). Today it’s Fujitsu volleying back with a 300 GB drive in the same tiny footprint. Both drives (any many future expected drives) use PMR, or Perpendicular Magnetic Recording. PMR allows the storage capacity to increase by up to a factor of 10 by effectively standing the data "upright" instead of flat on the platter.
Although they provide less storage capacity, the Hitachi drives will rotate at a zippy 7200 RPM, while the higher capacity Fujitsu units will meander along at 4200 RPM; it will be interesting to see if consumers want faster access to less storage space or vice versa. Watch for the new Fujitsu MHX2300BT drives in early 2007, although I’d expect we’ll see more salvos in the portable storage war long before then.