Since recent years, we've come to appreciate the speed and usability of Flash drives. The fact that sudden motion makes no difference to its accessibility makes Flash drives an intriguing prospect for laptop manufacturers. Especially Dell, which is going to offer a configuration option with its Latitude D420 that will allow users to swap that clunky old HD in favor of a 32GB SanDisk Flash hard drive.
The only hitch comes with the price tag, which is set at a rather expensive price of $549. This will definitely ensure the laptop is set for a very high-profile consumer.
The fact is, as nice as a Flash drive sounds, moving a laptop nowadays isn't as dangerous as it once was. Modern laptops have special mechanisms built-in to detect movement, which will lock up the hard drive until it's safe to continue its operations. Although not completely adequate, the cost of this safety is far lower than that of a similarly-sized Flash drive.
There are other benefits to Flash drives other than just portability. Dell claims that its Flash-based drives improve the performance on the laptop by up to 23%, and cuts down startup time by up to 34%. However, these statistics are only made possible from intensive hard disk operations, and it's highly unlikely the performance gains will be even remotely close when doing activities such as gaming, editing with Photoshop, or for that matter, any CPU-intensive operation.
The fact that there are performance jumps still likely won't be enough to convince the average consumer to drop down five hundred dollars, but this situation is definitely not going to stay this way: the trend of decreasing costs of flash storage space that we've been noticing lately are making Flash a more viable alternative to the platters we've been using for nearly 2 decades now.