Laptop with no moving parts?

You might think I am going off the point by talking about computers but they are really going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future. The marine electronics industry is going to have to withstand quite an assault on the high priced chart plotters and peripheral equipment that they are used to supplying, and the laptop I am referring to here is an early example of what is to come. As is the HTC 7501 I referred to before.

Toshiba have also launched a new Portege R500 Model utilising the latest 64GB SSDPortegeR500 (Solid State Drive). The new Portege R500-10U is the lightest 12″ notebook in the world at 779g. (less than 2lbs !)

The benefits of the SSD and its appropriateness for marine use are very evident and include:

1. No moving parts – Extremely high reliability

2. Extremely robust – Less likely to be damaged or for data to fail

3. Less heat – No moving parts means the drive will operate without generating more heat

4. Power Efficiency – Again no moving parts means that the system uses a lot less power to operate – increasing the battery life of the notebook

5. Faster Access Times – The solid state nature of the drive also offers much quicker access time to the data enhancing the performance of the notebook

The use of solid state storage instead of moving hard discs si interesting. We are all used to this already with our cameras, pda and phones all using some type of solid stage storage and some as much as 4Gb in very small storage cards indeed.

See this review and video of the the new Portege 500

The market for flash-based solid state disk drives which act as drop-in replacements for traditional hard drives used in mobile and portable devices is also heating up. Samsung has announced that it plans to ship a 64 GB solid state drive in the second quarter of this 2007.

SanDisk has also announced a 32 GB flash drive, and Fujitsu is announcing solid state drives as an option in selected LifeBook portable computers.

Not only is the capacity of solid state drives increasing, performance is as well. Samsung claims the respective read and write performance on its drive has been increased by 20 and 60 percent: the 64 GB unit can read 64 MB/S, write 45 MB/s, and consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle).

In comparison, an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and eats 1.5 Watts either operating or when idle.


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