A couple of months ago SanDisk introduced a 1.8" sized flash based hard drive for notebook computers, they have now announced a more mainstream size 2.5" size 32GB capacity SSD that could be dropped into any notebook and work right out of the gate.
SanDisk 32GB SSD (view large image)
The 2.5-inch SanDisk SSD is only going to be available directly to PC manufacturers initially, it will be offered as a drop in replacement for replacing existing hard drives. The cost to PC manufacturers will be about $350 per drive when purchased in bulk. That’s a lot of money considering the relatively small 32GB sized, but prices are dropping and consider the benefits of a Solid State Disk:
- Lower power consumption than regular mechanical hard drive, SanDisk claims their drive is 50% more efficient than a regular hard drive as it uses 0.9 watts compared to the 1.9 watts of many regular hard drives
- Better reliability, according to SanDisk this drive is approximately six times more reliable than a regular hard drive (SanDisk claims its SSDs deliver 2 million hours mean time between failures (MTBF))
- Better performance, data moves to and from the SSD drive almost 100 times faster than a regular hard disk that use a mechanical head for reading and writing data
- Read rate of 67 MB/s
- Random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second for a 512-byte transfer
- Windows Vista boots in about 30 seconds and can access files at an average speed of 0.11ms, a regular hard drive takes 48 seconds to boot Vista and 17 milliseconds to access a file
- Cooler and quieter running as there is no motor, bearings or moving head mechanism.
- More secure with data as a drop situation is less risky for losing data than the same situation with a regular mechanical hard drive
Although 32GB is a small amount of space, there’s certainly an audience of buyers out there that would prefer this small and fast hard drive over a 200GB large and slow regular hard drive. They’d also be willing to pay the price premium. For some, all of the factors listed above make the higher price yet lower capacity worth it — sometimes storage space isn’t everything.
Either way, as the price of flash drops we’re going to see more and more manufacturers offering these types of drives or moving to hybrid drives. There are many rumors that Apple will be offering a sub-sized notebook later in the year that will use this type of drive. It’s likely many business notebook makers will start offering this as an option too.
SanDisk will be demoing their new SSD at CeBIT in Germany starting March 15th.