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June 28, 2006

Flash disks starting to replace hard disks


Solid state, non volatile disk storage replacement has been a dream for a lot of years and while flash disks are finally killing the floppy, advances in hard disk technology have always kept the price per byte low enough that solid state didn’t have much leverage except for special use devices. That may be starting to change as laptop manufacturers have started introducing new models with flash disks instead of hard drives in some notebook models. Martyn Williams at PCWorld:

Sony will replace hard disks with flash memory when it launches a new model of its Vaio U laptop next week, it said today (June 27 – ed.).

Flash has long been eyed as a potential replacement for hard drives because it is lighter, runs silently, offers faster data access, and uses less power, but price has always been an obstacle.

The Vaio UX90 will come with 16GB of flash memory storage in place of the 30GB hard drive on the original model. It will cost around $1805, or about $345 more expensive than the disk-based model, and go on sale in Japan on July 3.

The UX Micro PCs look like a PDA on steroids, but they run Widows XP Professional and regular Windows applications as well as having some media player functionality.

Samsung Electronics launched a couple of PCs with flash storage earlier this month. The Q30 laptop and Q1 ultra mobile PC both use Samsung’s “solid state disk,” which packs 32GB of NAND flash memory into a case the same size as a 1.8-inch hard drive.

The Q1 is Samsung’s entry in the oddball Origami (AKA UMPC) tablet PC form factor developed by Microsoft and Intel, while the Q30-SSD (Solid State Drive) is a regular laptop:

Sammy just announced that their sweet, sweet NAND-based Q30-SSD we first got down and dirty with at CeBIT will hit the shelves in Korea (only) from early June onward. Yeah, it’ll fetch a steep $3,700 US-equiv (a roughly $900 premium) on that aging 1.2GHz Celeron M Q30 platform, but that 32GB of NAND reads 300 percent faster (53MB/s) and write 150 percent quicker (28MB/s) than normal hard drives while offering better protection against shock, 25-50% faster boots and sleep recovery times, longer battery life and reduced weight all in a completely silent, fanless package. Hoozah!

To which, I guess I have to add, ouch! The prices still have a way to go to attract the average consumer. More on Samsung’s solid state hard drive here.


Posted at 12:00 pm. Filed under Companies, Flash Drive, Hard Disks, Intel, Laptop, Microsoft, Notebook, Samsung, Solid State Drive, Sony, Storage, Tablet PC

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One Response to “Flash disks starting to replace hard disks”

  1. Gizmo Cafe Blog Says:

    Samsung Blows the Doors off Moore’s Law for Flash Memory

     Samsung has been doing tricks with flash memory all year. Early in 2006 at CeBIT the company demonstrated…

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