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SanDisk homes in on Netbook spotlight at Computex

The storage company is announcing two Netbook-centric products.

SanDisk 16GB SD Netbook card

The Computex trade show, which opens Tuesday in Taipei, Taiwan, could also be known as Netbook-pallooza. It seems as if every tech company has something related to the rapidly growing category of mini-notebooks to announce there.

SanDisk is one of them, and though the company doesn't make a Netbook, it is eager to hitch its wagon to this PC trend. On Monday afternoon, the company is preparing to launch two new Netbook-centric products at the show: an SD card sold specifically for Netbooks, and its second-generation pico SSD, or PSSD.

The SD card will be available in storage capacities of 8GB and 16GB. SanDisk went with the SD specification because "95 percent of Netbooks have an SD card slot," and this way portable storage wouldn't take up one of the few USB ports the devices usually have, senior product manager Susan Park said.

It's also another way to make Netbooks even less expensive that they already are, according to Don Barnetson, SanDisk's senior director of marketing, by making additional storage portable instead of increasing the size of a hard drive or solid-state drive inside the machine itself.

And when you do that, more and more mobile carriers will start offering Netbooks for sale subsidized by wireless contracts, bringing the cost to consumers down.

"Netbooks with ARM processors, coupled with Linux, and SSDs, could get to a $199 price point, which could be free with a subscription," he said. Barnetson thinks this will start to happen more frequently in the U.S. next year.

Once carriers are subsidizing Netbooks for free or almost free, then it would be in those carriers' interest to upsell Netbook buyers on things like SD cards for expandable storage, and other add-ons.

SanDisk also officially announced the availability of its PSSD, first announced at CES in January, to its original equipment manufacturing partners. SanDisk declined to name who would be offering its PSSD drive in new notebooks at this time.