If there's one trend we see defining the next generation of laptops--or at least the one after that--it's solid-state hard drives. After all, if you take the moving parts out of the most failure-prone part of the laptop, you'll get a more reliable machine, along with better battery life, and a cooler-running system.
Fujitsu is adding solid-state hard drives to some of its ultraportable laptops, starting March 19. Both the LifeBook P1610 and the LifeBook B6210 will be available with either 16GB or 32GB flash-based SSD hard drives. But before you jump on board the solid-state bandwagon, bear in mind these new configurations are aimed at industrial and institutional users. Getting a 16GB SSD drive in your LifeBook P1610 will cost roughly an extra $700, while getting the 32GB version will cost around $1,300, and Fujitsu is expecting only bulk orders for the new technology, not individual sales.
Despite these hefty premiums, solid-state hard drive prices have been dropping lately, and you can get a 32GB SSD drive from SanDisk for around $350. As drive capacities go up and prices come down, expect to see more systems drop the old platter-style drives.