Will Netbooks Launch SSDs Into The Mainstream?

There's little arguing the fact that SSDs have already carved out a niche in today's computing world, but by and large, traditional hard drives still rule the roost. Prohibitive prices, small capacity options and limited availability have all worked to keep solid state drives from breaking into the mainstream, but a recent writeup over at Micron's Advanced Storage Blog suggests that all of that could change if the right conditions exist.

As it stands, SSDs are generally sold only to consumers willing to pay a lofty premium for performance or in enterprise devices that require atypically high reliability. However, the compact size and low energy drain makes the SSD an ideal candidate for the average netbook. Sure, a number of miniaturized notebooks can be ordered with an SSD in place of an HDD, but it still doesn't come cheap. Oftentimes, those looking to purchase a netbook will opt for the cheapest configuration, thus leaving one more SSD collecting dust in a warehouse.

The article offers up a number of suggestions for getting the SSD into more netbooks, and if followed, we could certainly see the quickly growing segment as being just the lift SSDs needed to start stealing away HDD market share at an alarming rate. For starters, CompactFlash technology shouldn't be used for a netbook solid state drive; the technology simply isn't designed to run an operating system. Next, the SSD price point has to be driven below that of an HDD. Clearly, this one is the most challenging to accomplish, and we still see it being a few years before SSDs are even in the same neighborhood as similarly sized HDDs when it comes to price. Finally, it's suggested that manufacturers toss the SSD enclosure to lower production costs and make things lighter, and each drive slotted into a netbook should be at least 16GB in order to not turn prospective buyers away with meager capacity ratings.

Do we think netbooks have a legitimate shot at catapulting solid state drives into the mainstream? Absolutely. But considering that netbooks compete primarily on price, we wouldn't count on it happening until SSD stickers fall a fair bit more.
bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

So I have a Aspire One netbook and as the fool I am I was talking to my brother over skype and went downstairs and dropped my netbook on the hardwood floor. Long story short hard drive is dead and it runs Fedora on a 2GB USB drive. I am actually ok with the slow boot times because the only time I use it is to get online and relax on the couch. I would love to throw a SSD in there and get windows and maybe starcraft or Sid Meyer's Prirate's on it(It actually runs Spore at 20FPS average,) but at the current SSD prices I will stick with my 2GBs.

Much as DDR2 has dropped in price SSDs will to though, so in time I think all but the cheapest computers will have SSDs. Long have hard drives been the akilies heel of high performance PCs.

3vi1 5 years ago

You're not a fool Bob. That doesn't even beat the stupidest thing I've done in the last week: I knocked a PSP into the toilet.

Kids: Just because you're emulating a GBA with your PSP, and you find Final Fantasy Tactics Advance addicting, don't take it into the bathroom.

And yes, sixteen hours of disinfecting/cleaning later - it works perfect. Or it would, if I could force myself to play it after knowing where it's been.

peti1212 5 years ago

Very nice. I like. :)

peti1212 5 years ago

Yeah, too bad that the size is a problem right now. If the size would be larger and price would be much lower I would get some of these babies for my system.

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