We're fast approaching the time when manufacturers unveil their latest wares in the year's biggest gear-fest, the Consumer Electronics Show. One of the first out of the blocks is Hitachi, which has managed to squeeze half a terabyte onto a notebook hard drive.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies ( Hitachi GST) says its new Travelstar 5K500 is poised to usher in a new era of "slim" desktops, full-featured notebooks and gaming consoles.

The company says it has eliminated any notion of a "capacity compromise" by having to opt for a notebook over a desktop. The drives use the now well-established perpendicular recording tech to deliver the high capacity.

"Consumers tend to think of their notebooks as less of a pure technology tool and more of a mobile entertainment device for taking large libraries of movies, music, games and pictures on the go," says Larry Swezey, head of Consumer and Commercial HDD at Hitachi GST.

"As a result, notebooks are now starting to ship with wide, high-definition screens and large, high quality speakers for playing digital audio and video. Hitachi's new Travelstar 5K500 responds to these dynamics with the features, design innovations and technologies that enhance the overall entertainment experience."

Both 400 and 500GB versions are available and can throughput 3.0Gbit/s through their SATA interface.