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Fujitsu notebooks' solid state drives

Fujitsu introduced two touchscreen notebook PCs that are available with custom-ordered solid state drives (SSD) of 16GB or 32GB.

The Life Book P1610, a convertible notebook, and the Life Book B6210, a clamshell style, can each be converted to run the flash-based SSDs. The 16GB SSD is priced at US$700, and the 32GB is priced at $1300, says Paul Moore, senior director of mobile marketing at Fujitsu in California.

SSDs will be popular for job settings where data protection is important, such as a stock trader or a health care worker. "If a PC crashes, you want to protect the drive and data," he says. SSDs also don't use as much power and don't produce much heat or noise and require a shorter boot time, he added.

Fujitsu believes it is the first to offer a touchscreen notebook with SSD, although Moore says there are some small Windows CE computers running SSD.

Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, Massachusetts says Fujitsu might be the first of its type, although a hybrid SSD-hard drive laptop is being sold in Asia.

"Solid state drives are definitely the wave of the future," Kay says. "They're fantastically cool, but fairly expensive. Once flash storage prices come down to reasonable levels, SSD will take off."

In addition to higher cost, SSDs have significantly less read/write life than a hard drive. "Still, the read/write durability is pretty good and more than most people would need," he said.

The biggest benefit will be "substantial power savings," he added.

Fujitsu also announced a rugged case for each notebook, priced at $139.