Apple may use flash memory for 'subnotebooks'

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applelogo.pngAn analyst at American Technology Research has claimed that Apple may begin shipping a line of ultra-portable notebook computers that use flash memory in place of a hard drive.

These ‘subnotebooks’ would run a cut down version of Mac OS X, and offer several distinct advantages over drive-based machines, including better energy efficiency, lighter weight, faster machine start-up time, and greater physical resilience to mobile environments.

On the other hand, flash memory is still more expensive than an equivalent hard drive, so first-generation devices would be more expensive. That’s likely to be less of a factor over time, though, as flash memory prices continue to fall.

If Apple do release this kind of device later in the year, it would be one of the first computer manufacturers to do so. Of course, it already uses flash technology in the latest generations of iPods.

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Andy Merrett