We've had somewhat of a long wait since Hybrid Hard Drives (HHDs) were first trumpeted by Intel back in October 2005 but now they are almost upon us.
Samsung – which announced its first prototype HHDs in May 2006 – has shipped the first line to OEMs this week. The 'ReadyDrive MH80' series uses the 2.5in laptop friendly format and comes with a choice of 128MB or 256MB of NAND flash strapped to either an 80GB, 120GB or 160GB moving parts hard drive. It works by using the lightening fast flash to execute common commands/programmes and means the hard drive can rest idle for far greater periods.
Now this may sound basic given the minor performance improvements seen using Vista ReadyBoost but the numbers Sammy is reporting are nothing short of sensational. Reliability is quoted as 5x that of regular hard drives (due to the reduction in spinning), with 50 per cent sliced off Vista boot times and a 70 to 90 per cent power saving, which should equate to roughly 30 extra minutes battery life on the average laptop.
While all this sounds like technological nirvana Sammy hasn't stated just how much any of the MH80 drives will set us back. Of course this won't stop them from appearing in the next laptops from Dell/Alienware/VoodooPC/the usual suspects (Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze) but tell the rest of us, we've got upgrading to do!