Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is 2012 the year of the Solid State Drive?

Back in March 2007, I wrote a piece on what changes to expect in laptop in the coming year. I was expecting by this time all laptops would be using Solid State Drives (SSD). Back in 2007, 32 GB  SanDisk SSD's were being offered by Dell as a US$450 upgrade on its D420 ultraportable and a US$300 on its D620 mainstream business laptops. Samsung started manufacturing 64 GB SSD's in the same year.  In 2008, we even saw an 8 GB SSD on a budget offering, the original Acer Aspire One netbook.
Seagate SSD

SSD's offered faster data transfer, run cooler, use less power and have a much longer mean time between failure (MTBF) than conventional hard drives. Because of the MBTF they are used in mission critical systems like the computers on fighter plans. Five years later, SSD's are still not standard equipment in laptops.

I got my first SSD equipped laptop in late 2010, in the second generation MacBook Air which came with a decently sized 256 GB SSD drive. After using a laptop with an SSD drive, I would not buy one without one. But SSD drives are still terribly expensive. Upgrading your MacBook Pro from a 500 GB hard drive to a 128 GB SSD will cost you Php9,732. Moving up to 256 GB SSD will cost you Php29,196. A 512 GB SSD option is available, but that will set you backPhp58,392. That is about as much as an 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 128 GB SSD.

Acer Aspire Ultrabook

But 2012 may be the year when the SSD becomes mainstream. With Intel pushing Ultrabooks, it is also a push for SSD's. When you start finding SSD's in mid-priced Ultrabooks, how long will it standard equipment on all laptops?

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