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SSD drives to revolutionise notebook market

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With developments around solid state storage devices reaching a milestone as the first 'new age' hard drives hit the mainstream, notebooks are due to become faster and capable of longer battery lives without being as sensitive to the everyday jolting that forms part of a mobile executive's life.

"Solid state storage technology is a substantial paradigm shift," Othelo Vieira, Acer product manager at Tarsus Technologies explains, "since this new breed of primary storage has no mechanical parts.
"Solid state drives are for all intents and purposes large banks of NAND Flash memory that are very similar conceptually to the memory used for thumb-drives. Due to the fact that they comprise large volumes of Flash memory, solid state drives are also faster than traditional magnetic disk drives and consume less power," he says.
"The net effect is a faster performing computer that benefits from a longer battery life, and because of the absence of movable parts in these new hard drives, there's also less risk of data loss."
Vieira points out, however, that these benefits come with two drawbacks.
"The first drawback is price," he says. "Flash is more expensive than traditional hard disk technologies, so consequently, users should expect to pay a great deal more for the benefits of solid state storage."
The second drawback, Vieira says, is linked directly to the first.
"Since Flash is so expensive, it's difficult for vendors to justify placing anything more than between 32GB and 64GB of Flash memory in an average solid state device. While there will be higher capacity drives available, these will not be viable for some time – vendors will undoubtedly focus their efforts and economies of scale on what they deem to be the hot selling capacities."
Although it's unclear when exactly the new solid-state devices will end up in the product lines of the mainstream notebook brands, such as Acer, Vieira believes that the move will inevitably take place in the next year or two.
"In the meantime, however, customers can expect to see various hybrid-technologies, such as Intel's turbo memory to give the world a glimpse of what could be," he says.