Fujitsu LifeBook P1610 Notebook
Fujitsu shoots for the moon with its 16GB and 32GB SSD options

2007 appears to be the year of the solid-state disk (SSD) for notebook computers. Intel has thrown its hat in to the ring with the announcement that it would release low-cost SSDs while SanDisk and Samsung have already become entrenched with the storage technology.

Fujitsu today announced that it will begin making SSD optional on two of its ultra-portable notebook computers. Its LifeBook P1610 and LifeBook B6210 will have the option of a 16GB or 32GB SSD for storage in place of a traditional hard disk drive (HDD).

"We believe that we have found several markets that can benefit from this relatively expensive technology," said Fujitsu's Paul Moore. "We believe that it will find a home with financial traders who are worried about dropping machines while on the trading room floor, and we also think it will appeal to sales people who spend a good deal of time on the road."

SSDs promise faster transfer rates, lower access times, silent operation and increased battery life. The numerous pluses are counterbalanced, however, by the relatively high cost of SSDs. In the case of the two Fujitsu ultra-portables (which will use SSDs made by Samsung), the 16GB and 32GB SSD options will represent $650 USD and $1,300 USD options respectively.

To some, those prices may seem oddly high given recent price quotes on SSDs. When SanDisk announced its 1.8" 32GB SSD in January, the price was pegged at $600 USD. Just last week, the price had dropped to $350 for its new 2.5" 32GB SSD.

The price differential is even more puzzling given the performance of both parts. Samsung lists sustained reads for its SSDs at 56MB/sec while SanDisk's SSDs are rated at 67MB/sec.

That being said, Fujitsu sees a market for SSDs at this price point in their sales mix. "We do think there is a need for this technology, and we do feel businesses will want it. There is a market for this. It's not a huge market, but there is a market."

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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