In an attempt to improve performance and extend battery life, mobile hard drive manufacturers are working on hybrid designs that combine flash memory with traditional platters. Flash memory's fast access times, low weight and power consumption, and lack of moving parts make it ideal for mobile environments, which is perhaps why Microsoft has made hybrid drives a requirement for Windows Vista Premium certification starting in June of 2007.
Of course, the first hybrid hard drives aren't even expected to become available until early next year. However, you don't have to wait six months to get flash memory in a 2.5" notebook hard drive; Super Talent's 2.5" IDE Flash drives are available today in sizes up to 16 GB. The prospect of a silent, lightweight notebook hard drive with frugal power consumption is certainly tantalizing, but what about performance? Fellow editors at TechReport pay it a close look in their latest review.