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SanDisk intros internal Flash drive for laptops

Fast, quiet but expensive

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SanDisk has begun offering a 32GB solid-state drive to notebook makers less than a week after it was claimed Apple's rumoured sub-notebook will only contain Flash storage.

SanDisk 2.5in 32GB internal Flash drive

The launch also comes two months after SanDisk unveiled a similar drive based on the 1.8in form-factor favoured by manufacturers of personal media players.

SanDisk's 2.5in SATA 5000 drive connects across a Serial ATA interface. The company claimed the drive has a sustained read speed of 67MBps - fast enough to boot Windows Vista Enterprise edition on 30s, down from 48s on a standard, HDD-equipped notebook.

Power consumption is reduced too: from 1.9W to 0.9W during active operation, SanDisk claimed.

It doesn't come cheap, though - SanDisk is asking $350 a pop, and that's for "large volume orders". That's more than twice the price of a typical 2.5in, 5,400rpm, 160GB SATA hard drive - for a fifth of the storage capacity. Not an easy sell.

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