I’ve just about finished installing a high-speed 8GB SSD drive to my Q1 Ultra XP and have been doing some tests. Overall the device is far more responsive (faster than my Q1 Pentium to start up applications) and I can now boot from power-switch to Google News in 37 seconds where my Q1P (Pentium) takes a minimum of 60 seconds. The advantages are clear and the cost, at 120 Euros for the card and adaptor, was worth it but I’ve lost a whole lot of storage. To me its not a problem as my data is stored online but to others, it could be a major issue.
Cue the Samsung SSD announcement. They have developed a new generation of SSD drives that are faster, cheaper and higher capacity than before. Electronista tells us in their article that the theoretical write speed goes up to 160MB per second which is way faster than the UDMA bus on most UMPCs and 5 times the write speed of the CF card I’m using. The article highlights a 250GB 2.5″ drive but, important for ultra mobiles, a 64GB, 1.8″ version will be available.
While manufacturing costs may be lower, the cost reductions are unlikely to filter through to consumers very quickly. SSDs carry a lot of advantages that people are already prepared to pay for and OEMs will continue to use this to create high-end versions of products but with Intel producing flash modules and controllers for UMPCs, ASUS highlighting the fact that you might not need too much storage and CF cards appearing with high-end write speeds and feature sets, the possibility of ultra mobile PC products dropping rotating media as the default storage choice looks quite high.
SSD Advantages for UMPCs
- Lower noise level
- Faster access times
- Less power drain
- More rugged
- Less heat
- Cost (Controllers have to implement Error correction and wear leveling)