CES 2007: Evolutionary not Revolutionary Productsby Gary Key on January 12, 2007 3:00 AM EST
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- Trade Shows
SanDisk: Solid State Disk Drive
One of the most impressive product demonstrations we witnessed was a comparison between two identically prepared Dell notebooks except for the drive option. One notebook contained a standard 2.5" disk drive while the other one featured the new SanDisk SSD UTAT 5000 1.8" drive with a 32GB capacity. This fifth generation drive features a sustained read rate of 62 megabytes (MB) per second and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer - up to 100 times faster than most notebook hard disk drives. It also can achieve an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds, compared with 19 milliseconds for a typical laptop PC hard disk drive. The SanDisk SSD features an extremely low power consumption rate compared to the laptop hard disk drive: 0.4 watt during active operation versus 1.0 watt which could mean up to 22 minutes or more of additional battery life depending upon usage patterns.
In a demonstration that featured Windows Vista Enterprise edition on each notebook we noticed the SSD equipped system shutdown about 95 seconds faster with four Office applications open at power down . This same configuration booted into Vista and opened the same four Office applications about 115 seconds faster. When resuming from hibernation mode the SSD system took less than five seconds while the hard disk system took close to forty seconds before it was fully functional.
We expect to see these drives to start appearing in OEM systems by the end of Q1 with a price premium around $500 at this time for the 32GB drive. By the end of the year we should expect prices to fall about 40% while drive capacities will increase to 64GB in Q3 and 128GB in Q4. This is a very exciting technology and we should have review samples in the near future.
Pioneer: Blu-ray Combo Drive
Pioneer's first Blu-ray drive featured full read and write capability for Blu-ray and DVD formats but did not have CD read or write capability. The drive was mainly designed for industrial use in creating or playing back Blu-ray discs. Pioneer will be introducing the new BDC-202 drive that offers full DVD/CD read and write features with Blu-ray BD-ROM, BD-R, and BD-RE playback capability. The drive should be available around the beginning of Q2 with an estimated street price below $399 and features a true SATA interface.
Our next article will feature products from Antec, Zalman, G.Skill, Creative Labs, NetGear, and others as we finish up our CES 2007 coverage.