Could 2009 be the year of affordable solid state drives?
As well as its slotRadio announcement, SanDisk also launched a new range of solid state drives out here at CES. 2008 saw an extensive increase in the use of SSD storage in notebook computers, although mostly in high end machines. With its 3rd generation solid state disks, not only is SanDisk claiming to have achieved class leading performance, but it has also managed to significantly reduce the cost of the units.
With traditional notebook hard disks spinning at up to 7,200rpm, SanDisk claims that its new SSDs provide performance equivalent to a 40,000rpm drive. Of course that refers to access time, while throughput is rated as 200MB/s and 140MB/s for reads and writes respectively. Couple this with a two million hour MTBF and it looks like SanDisk has got both performance and reliability covered.
Of course you always end up paying a premium with a solid state drive, and this 3rd generation is no different when compared to mechanical hard disks. However, compared to current SSD pricing, SanDisk is definitely making waves. The 60GB version carries an MSRP of $149, which is pretty tempting for anyone who wants to speed up their notebook performance.
If you need more storage there’s a 120GB option with a price of $249, while a 240GB drive will set you back $499. Although the latter may sound expensive, the fact that you’re only paying double the price for double the capacity is quite surprising, though definitely pleasantly so.
Personally I’m of the opinion that you don’t need masses of storage in a notebook, especially if it’s a tool for work, rather than a home computer. With that in mind the 60GB option looks like a very attractive upgrade for anyone who wants to speed up their laptop.