Hitachi Travelstar Z5K320 - A Fast Drive At A Low Cost

Excellent hard drive for netbooks and average users.


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Travelstar Z5K320 (HTS543232A7A384)

Hitachi is known for making some great desktop hard drives. The Hitachi Deskstar for example is known for providing excellent performance and bang for your buck value. So I was excited to see what Hitachi had in store, when it sent over the Travelstar Mobile Hard Drive.

No need for a diet

The Hitachi Travelstar (Z5K320) comes in 160GB, 250GB and 320GB capacities. The one being reviewed today is the 320GB version and is meant as a mobile hard drive for laptops and gaming consoles. The Z5K320 uses a 3.0Gbps interface and has been tuned for improved heat distribution and silence. A more detailed look at the specs are highlighted below:

  •      320GB capacities
  •      Single platter
  •      8MB Buffer
  •      5400 RPM
  •      Latency Average - 5.5ms
  •      1.6W read/write, .55W idle
  •      SATA 3Gb/s

Now let’s have a closer look at the Travelstar’s Design

Size does matter...well almost!!

The first thing that you will notice right off the bat is how ultra-slim it is when compared to other 2.5 inch hard drives. The reason for this is, even though it conforms to the 2.5 inch standard, it is physically thinner as Hitachi has managed to shave off 2.5 mm from its height to make it just 7mm.This provides a svelte look to the hard drive and makes it a great option for OEM manufacturers.

Other than that everything is standard with nothing distinguishing it from the other mobile hard drives out there. But then it is what’s on the inside that counts.

To test out the Travelstar’s performance, we will run it through some tests. These include taking it for a spin using everyone’s favourite HDtune Pro.

HDTune Pro

Don't let the downward graph fool you!

Good performance numbers

As you can see by the pictures above, the Travelstar performs quite well in the Read/Write test. It will obviously score a bit lower when compared to a 7200 rpm drive, because of the single platter disadvantage. But even so, it is good enough option to consider if you are looking for a cheap storage device.

Random copy tests
All is well in the synthetic world for the Z5K320, but what about real world tests where speed is all that matters. To see how the Hitachi performs, we copied over a few ISO’s and pictures from one drive to the Travelstar. Surprisingly it does hold its own against its much larger and faster rivals. With copy times ranging from 22 seconds for a 700MB linux ISO to 2.5 minutes for 500MB of pictures.

Final Thoughts
Netbooks are all the rage these days and with the demand for smaller and lighter netbooks always on the manufacturers' minds, the Hitachi Travelstar Z5K320 is indeed a step forward in bringing that vision to life. With its sleek and slim look, and great performance, it’s the ideal choice if you are the average consumer looking for a netbook hard drive that delivers a balance between price and performance. The Travel star carries a 3 year warranty, and will cost you Rs. 4,650 (MRP)

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Hitachi Travelstar Z5K320 (HTS543232A7A384) Specifications

Travelstar Z5K320 is a 7mm, 5400 RPM 2.5-inch hard drive with capacities ranging from 160GB to 320GB. The 320GB per platter one-disk models are designed as a direct replacement for standard 9.5mm HDDs, for use in notebook PCs, external storage and gaming consoles. The Z5K320 also accommodates new thinner and more robust device designs. These models deliver best-of-breed acoustics for near silent operation. Along with continued focus on superior shock protection and low-power consumption, Hitachi leads on the environmental front with its Halogen-free production. Hitachi offers optional hard-drive-level encryption for increased data security and models with enhanced availability to deliver high-capacity storage for non-stop environments. Travelstar Z5K320 delivers the right balance of capacity, power-management and design flexibility to meet the needs of mobile applications in an eco-friendly footprint. Travelstar Z5K320 is the fourth generation to feature optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard-drive-level data security. With BDE, the data is scrambled using a key as it is written to the disk, then descrambled with the key as it is retrieved, giving users the highest level of data protection available. It also speeds and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data on the drive is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite. For information about the self-encrypting drives designed to the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Opal Storage Security specification, please contact your Hitachi representative. H itachi provides enhanced-availability models of the Travelstar Z5K320 that deliver 24x7 access to information for data-intensive applications requiring round-the-clock operation. The new thinner profile allows for additional cooling, especially important in dense blade server designs. The Z5K320 provides high capacity, performance and durability on a proven platform for quality and reliability. EA models support the stringent demands of “always-on” applications in lower-transaction environments.



Form Factor

2.5 inchYes


Serial ATA (SATA)SATA 3Gb/s


Solid StateYes
Spindle5400 RPM


Size (Cache)8MB


Dimensions (W x D x H)70 x 100 x 7 mm
Weight95 grams

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