SanDisk's 2.5-inch 32 GB solid-state drive

Generally speaking, we expect new technology to make things smaller, not bigger. But sometimes you've gotta buck the trend. Just two months after unveiling their 32 GB 1.8'' solid-state drive (SSD), SanDisk has launched a 2.5'' serial ATA drive with the same capacity, thus opening up the possibility of NAND-based storage on mainstream notebooks, rather than ultraportables.

SanDisk touts the usual benefits of solid-state storage: no moving parts (and therefore less susceptibility to drops and temperature variations, less heat given off, and no drive noise) and lower power requirements. For now, though, it's still a luxury item. The 32 GB drive currently sells to manufacturers for $425 and that's the large-volume price. Still, this development brings the possibility of quieter, more durable and less power-hungry laptops and media players that much closer.

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