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Solid State Laptops?

I’m in the market for a new laptop as my TX 690P (which I love) is getting old and beat-up from travel. Unless Apple comes out with something amazing this month, I have my eyes set on one of the new ultraportables with solid state flash drives, which means the laptop can be completely silent and fanless. However information on these gems seems sparse online, especially in English, and especially if you want to buy one. Anyone know how to pick one of these up in the US? Anyone have one yet?

17 replies on “Solid State Laptops?”

Rumors has it that Apple will release a new set of MacBooks with LED-powered monitors in the coming weeks/months. No ETA and no official confirmations yet, but probably something you should check out before deciding.

I think it best to wait a while before jumping on the bandwagon with them. Two things, 1: The SSD’s don’t have significant space (where are you going to put all those pictures Matt? πŸ˜‰ ) and 2: The price increase over regular drives just seems to be inflated somewhat when you consider the performance gains don’t really parallel any increases. If you really want more information on the potential for these laptops just google “Solid State Drives” and you’ll discover more info (although still sparse).

I would say wait. Get a really good deal on a new lapper and when you kill it then maybe the market will be ready for solid state. There are too many issues to justify such a premium price. A better solution right now is a pocket full of USB sticks and at home/office keep a USB drive. Put the important things on them.

Nope, don’t know if you can buy them in the US… but what I would do if possible is buy a MacBook and use the original 2.5″ drive as an external drive and put in a SSD. Anyaway, thats on my list of things to do. (Got the MacBook πŸ™‚ )

I should clarify a couple of things:

The UX is pretty cool but I don’t think it could be my primary laptop.
The price really isn’t too important to me.
I don’t need that much space. (32GB is plenty.)
I don’t want to hack up or mod anything.
I’d like something within the next month or two.

I read once (possibly in an Arthur C Clarke book) that in order for anything to be free of malfunction it must have no moving parts. So, I think solid state gadgets are going to be big. That’s part of why Apple’s iPhone didn’t surprise me — no buttons means the buttons can’t break. I’m sure it, and a solid state laptop, can break in other ways, but it’s a start.

I think it is time you call apple, and get them to leak some information to you. I’m sure there must be some employee with a blog running wordpress willing to leak some info about the new laptops due out.

Here is roughly the rumor list for possible mac products due this spring:

1. Leopard 10.5
2. 12″ macbook pro, ultra portable
3. 15.4″ macbook standard, creating the medium level system
4. Mac mini with Intel core 2 duo, not a laptop but still due out
5. 8 Core Mac Pro, The ultimate drool system.

All of these are unconfirmed rumors, but they do keep us waiting..

Matt,
The hard disk is not the primary reason why laptops have fans – the processor is (mainly), although the inclusion of SSDs is an important step towards the totally solid state laptop (fans and optical drives have to disappear also). I think SSDs will come into the upper segment laptops within 2007, but especially because of the reliability and battery savings. How about a 13″ MacBook Pro with a LED backlit LCD (or an OLED display!) with a SSD, no internal optical drive, really thin, with a 12 hour battery life? πŸ˜€

I have an Apple PowerBook G4 15.2″ laptop. The fan virtually never comes on (I can’t remember the last time) and the hard drive is virtually silent. I’m in a very quiet environment so I value a quiet machine. Having oodles of memory, I have 2GB, makes for a quieter machine since it doesn’t swap in and out to disk as much even though I use a lot of different applications at the same time. That way the hard drive is actually spun down much of the time and I don’t tend to even hear it spin up unless I listen carefully for it.

The idea of a flash based drive is wonderful but right now the cost is very high. I’ll bet that Apple will do this sooner rather than later. What might be really good is a combination of flash and a hard drive such that the hard drive is rarely used.

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