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SanDisk launches laptop SSDs

Drives are a 'drop-in replacement' for HDDs

SanDisk has launched a range of high-performance solid-state-drives (SSD) designed for use in laptops.

The new G3 laptop and pSSD netbook drives are being positioned as a 'drop-in replacement' for hard disk drives to extend the life of a laptop. SanDisk also claims the SSDs boast sequential read/write speeds of 200MB/sec 140MB/sec, respectively.

If those performance claims pan out, the drive would surpass Intel's 10-channel consumer-class X25-M SSD drives for write speeds. The X25-M model has a sequential read and write rate of up to 250MB/sec and 70MB/sec, respectively.

SanDisk's new pSSD-P2 and SanDisk pSSD-S2 SSDs for netbooks are 1.8in. drives built on SanDisk's 43-nanometer multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory. They are expected to become available in February in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities.

"Netbooks represent the fastest-growing PC segment in 2009 and 2010, yet widespread adoption of SSDs in netbooks has been limited by speed, capacity and cost constraints," Rich Heye, general manager of solid-state drives at SanDisk.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today's best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

SanDisk did not release pricing for the new netbook SSD drives, saying only that a 32GB modular SSD is priced at parity with 2.5in HDDs in reseller quantities.

SanDisk's third-generation of 2.5in. laptop SSDs are priced lower than other consumer SSDs on the market at $149 (£97) for a 60GB model, $249 (£162) for a120GB version and $499 (£325) for a 240GB drive, according to Doreet Oren, marketing director for SanDisk's SSD business. The G3 series SSDs are expected to be available in mid-2009. By comparison, Intel's 80GB X25-M drive is priced at $595 (£388).

Doreet said the G3 drives are also the fastest on the market today and are five times faster than 7,200rpm hard drives and more than twice as fast as SanDisk's previous generation of notebook SSDs, offering 400 write IOPS and 4,000 read IOPS.

"This is definitely the fastest SSD on the market today. This is a totally new controller in these drives, with new flash management software - Extreme FFS," Doreet said.

SanDisk announced its Extreme FFS advanced flash file system in November, saying it is optimised to work with Windows Vista and has the potential to accelerate random write speeds by up to 100 times over those in existing systems.

SanDisk said it's hoping the new lower prices will prompt companies to choose SSD as a replacement for existing laptop hard drives instead of spending money on all new machines.

"Existing WinXP laptops can be upgraded to a 60GB SSD for $149 (£97), resulting in a system that frequently outperforms a new laptop with a HDD, thereby delaying the need for large capital purchases," Heye said.

See also: Samsung stops pursuing SanDisk


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