Ever innovative Samsung has unveiled new systems that utilise NAND flash memory, rather than a hard drive. Ultra Mobile PC the Q1-SSD and its 12.1-inch screened laptop brother the Q30-SSD utilise 32-GB flash-based solid state disks where a regular hard drive should be.

Naturally, this has enhanced performance greatly. Moving parts are what make computers slow, and eliminating them was always going to yield speed improvements. Samsung maintains that SSDs can be read 300 percent faster than traditional hard drives (at 53 MB per second), and that they write 150 percent faster (at 28 MB per second.) Additionally, these SSDs can take quite a bit more of a beating than a hard drive; they can withstand about twice the impact that would render a traditional drive worthless.

Now here's the bad bit - the price. The machines are $2,430 for the Q1-SSD and $3,700 for the Q30-SSD. Cost and limited memory capacity may well mean that these systems will appeal to a limited market, but perhaps only for the time being. Ultimately, we could be looking at the future of portable computing.