HP plans solid-state drives in business laptops

SSDs to be offered

Hewlett-Packard plans to offer solid-state drives (SSDs) as an option in all professional series laptop PCs starting this month because the drives operate faster, conserve battery life and are more durable than hard disk drives.

HP will first offer the option of 64G-byte NAND flash memory drives in the HP Compaq 2710p, 2510p, 6910p and 8000 series, and will continue to offer it in future models.

Choosing the SSD option will add around $1,000 to the cost of a laptop, but HP expects the cost to come down as SSDs gain acceptance in the marketplace and volumes increase, says Dan Forlenza, vice president of business notebooks at HP.

The advantages of SSDs, such as the absence of moving parts, may outweigh the cost for some users. In hard disk drives, information is read and stored as the disk spins, but the flash memory chips in SSDs do not move, making them more shock-resistant, in addition to draining less battery life and allowing software to launch more quickly. They also make a laptop about 25% lighter than one with a disk on board, according to HP.

Samsung has championed SSDs, with 32GB and 64GB models already available to laptop PC makers. Some traditional hard disk makers, such as Seagate, plan to offer SSDs based on flash memory chips next year.

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