SanDisk is introducing another fantastic goody in the form of flash, with a 32GB 2.5" SATA Flash disk on its way. Claiming outstanding read speeds of 67MB/sec (putting it more than on par with a desktop hard drive) and average access times of 0.11ms, this drive is available for OEMs and system builders only at first, with a hefty price of $350. However, even that steep pricetag is significantly less than other planned flash drives of the same capacity, and represents a significant leap forward in flash. The "SSD SATA 5000 2,5"" joins its 1.8" cousin, released back in January.

Within another year, we may see flash drives approach or even overtake desktop hard drives as the cost-per-gigabyte drops and performance rises to meet the demand of most machines. The benefits are clearly obvious, from reduced power consumption and reduced noise to increased reliability - due to no moving parts. Other vendors are pushing these too, and it would be nice to see them in retail before the year is out.