Dell brings solid state to Latitude

Notebooks come with 32GB SSD drive Australian users will have to wait

Not to be outdone by laptop rival Sony, Dell Tuesday announced the availability of SSD (solid-state drive) technology for its Latitude D420 and D620 notebooks.

Aimed at enhancing the durability and performance of Dell's "ultra-mobile" laptop offerings, the move comes on the heels of a similar SSD announcement Sony made for its Vaio Type-G earlier this month.

As opposed to the traditional HDD (hard disk drive), which relies on spinning discs and read/write heads, the SSD is a flash-based drive that requires no moving parts. As such, it can withstand twice as much force as an HDD, according to Dell impact testing, which also showed that notebook hardware breaks before the drive does.

The 1.8-inch 32GB SanDisk SSD, which SanDisk announced in January, increases performance by as much as 23 percent and is three and a half times less likely to fail when compared with HDDs currently available for the Latitude line, Dell said.

The drive, currently available in North and South America, costs US$549 -- on par with the 32GB drive Sony is offering exclusively in Japan for the Type-G Vaio.

SanDisk will expand SSD availability to Europe and Asia in the near future.

As for Dell's SSD plans going forward, CTO Kevin Kettler said the company is committed to offering the SanDisk SSD option across its next generation of Latitude laptops.

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