Toshiba's new PortÃ©gÃ© R500 will be on sale soon with an option for the lowest-power laptop I've ever seen from a major manufacturer. The high-end laptop weighs less than two pounds and can operate for a whopping 8 hours on a single battery charge.
But, of course, it's not a special battery that keeps the laptop alive, it's just that the laptop uses so little power. Two innovations make this possible. First, ultra-efficient LED back lighting which also makes the screen more crisp even in full sun. And second, the computer doesn't use a hard drive. Instead of the constant spinning up and down of a normal laptop, the PortÃ©gÃ© R500 uses a 64 GB solid state flash drive.
Solid state drives are not only more efficient, they're also faster and lighter, making the entire package more appealing. Of course, it has to be a LOT more appealing, as the flash drive ads $600 to the price of the PortÃ©gÃ© R500 with a regular hard drive.
It's quite a premium, but for the truly power-conscious, high-end consumer, there's finally a solid state option. And there's a lot of room for improvement, as flash drives are getting bigger and cheaper every day. Don't be surprised if Mac heads in this direction fairly soon. The increase in speed and efficiency alone are making this a really hot area for development right now.
-Where Will All the Hard Drives Go?-
-Flash Memory Poised to Save Power-
-Solid State Vaio-
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