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Crucial to sell virtually indestructible 32GB and 64GB solid-state drives

by Tarinder Sandhu on 11 January 2008, 09:14

Tags: Crucial Technology (NASDAQ:MU)

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LEXAR was added to the Micron stable of companies almost two years' ago and provides a retail arm from which the industry giant can sell its range of memory-based products from.

Crucial - the e-commerce arm - is now selling LEXAR solid-state drives (SSDs) from its online store, though. Almost all of the major hard-drive manufacturers had some form of SSD on display, frankly, but LEXAR's model caused some interest.

Crucial will be packaging a 2.5in SATAII SSD, available in 32GB and 64GB capacities, in a ruggerdised aluminium casing that will also ship with 3.5/5.25in  adapter modules such that you can install the drive into your PC in a second. The module has the requisite power and SATA connectors built in, so you simply attach it to your motherboard and slide in the drive when you need to.

The drive can also be accessed via regular USB2.0 if used in an external environment. Promising industry-leading speeds, the LEXAR drive uses SLC (single-level cell) technology for speedy transfers.

SSDs are still very much nascent technology, however, and that's reflected in the price. A 32GB model will set you back some $799 and the 64GB device $1,499. Ouch!



Whilst capacities will always tend to lag behind traditional platter-based mobile hard drives, one significant advantage of SSDs, other than a reduction in operating power, is the ability to withstand serious shock. As a demonstration of this quality, LEXAR attached a 64GB drive to a machine designed to continuously and vigorously shake it whilst it was connected to a nearby laptop

The demonstration ran smoothly, as one would expect, but a 2.5in platter-based drive, subjected to the same treatment, died within a second of being thrown around by the Shake-o-matic.

We like SSD technology, we really do, and can see a plethora of uses for it, but until a 64GB drive drops to sane levels it's difficult to recommend. Yes, the access speed, longevity and stability are great, but the current price is simply too high.

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Expected availability Q1 2008 on Crucial's UK site.