Hybrid Drives Likely to Push Ultrabook Prices Down
Intel is doing all they can to ensure Ultrabooks are likely to be your next notebook purchase. They've gotten almost everything right so far, from form factor to speed. However, there seems to be one major obstacle standing in the Ultrabook's way - its price.
That's because Ultrabooks are designed to hold off the tablet onslaught, and aren't meant for anything more intensive than Facebook gaming perhaps. However, for such non-intensive usage, the Ultrabooks' actually cost more than what consumers are willing to fork out. Some would attribute the high prices to the Ultrabook's core component - the solid-state-drive (SSD). It's this component that allows the Ultrabook to have the extreme boot-up and resume times, but they also make up a large bulk of an Ultrabook's cost.
So in order to bring prices closer to the sweet spot that would make consumers scramble for an Ultrabook, some PC manufacturers have begun to use hybrid hard drives. These hybrid drives have both mechanical drive components, as well as an SSD serving as a cache, and are much cheaper than regular SSDs.
The end result is that the cache allows these hybrid drives to speed up, boosting start-up and resume times to levels above that of traditional mechanical drives. An even more enticing attribute is that these hybrid drives pack much more storage space (500GB and above) than SSDs (around 256GB).
The only trade-off here would be that read and write times will pale in comparison to SSDs, but even then it won't be very noticeable to regular consumers. For readers who are anxious to try out an Ultrabook with a hydrid drive, they can keep a lookout for the Acer Aspire S3, or a Samsung Series 5 Ultra.
Source: PC World