It was bound to happen sooner or later, but flash-based solid-state drives for notebook computers may be on the verge of entering the mainstream computing environment, as Hewlett-Packard confirmed it plans to offer solid-state drives as an option in notebook computers it announced earlier this month, and plans to offer the option on future models as well.
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, HP’s Dan Forlenza said HP plans to offer 64 GB SSDs—probably from Samsung—as an option for its Compaq 2710p, 2510p, 6910p, and 8000 series notebook computers. Opting for an SSD instead of a traditional hard drive will add about $1,000 to the initial price of a notebook, although the cost differential will decline as SSDs become more common in the marketplace.
SSDs offer several advantages over traditional hard drives for portable systems: they have lower power requirements, are far less prone to failure due to jarring or other impacts, and enable faster startup and wake-up times. However, SSD capacities currently lag significantly behind hard drive systems aimed at notebook computers, and are considerably more expensive on a per-gigabyte basis.