HP plans solid-state drives in future business laptops

HP plans to offer solid-state drives in all professional series laptop PCs starting from next month.

Hewlett-Packard plans to offer solid-state drives (SSDs) as an option in all professional series laptop PCs starting from next month because the drives operate faster, conserve battery life and are more durable than hard disk drives.

HP will first offer the option of 64GB NAND flash memory drives in products it announced earlier this month, the HP Compaq 2710p, 2510p, 6910p and 8000 series, and will continue to offer it in future models, an executive said Wednesday.

Choosing the SSD option will add around $US1,000 to the cost of a laptop, but HP expects the cost to come down as SSDs gain acceptance in the marketplace and volumes increase, said Dan Forlenza, vice president of business notebooks at HP, during a news conference in Taipei.

The advantages of SSDs may outweigh the cost for some people, particularly the absence of moving parts. In hard disk drives, information is read and stored as the disk spins, but the flash memory chips in SSDs do not move, making them more shock resistant, in addition to draining less battery life and allowing software to launch more quickly. They also make a laptop about 25 percent lighter than one with a disk on board, according to HP.

Samsung Electronics has championed SSDs, with 32GB and 64GB models already available to laptop PC makers. Some traditional hard disk makers, such as Seagate Technology LLC, plan to offer SSDs based on flash memory chips next year.

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