Solid-state drives aren't always faster than regular hard drives, but they sure can be tinier.
The smallest regular hard drives are the 1.8 inchers that Toshiba has been making for ultracompact laptops. On Wednesday, Super Talent Technology announced two SSDs that come in a significantly smaller form factor: .85 inch and 1 inch.
The new SSDs use Intel Z-P140 NAND Flash-based SSD technology and employ the older parallel ATA (PATA/IDE) interface, as opposed to the current and popular SATA interface used in regular-size SSDs. Both offer rather modest read and write speeds of 40 megabytes per second and 30MBps, respectively. They are also available in very small storage capacities. The .85 inchers offer 2GB and 4GB, while the 1 inchers offer 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB sizes.
Thanks to their tiny physical form and limited storage space and speed, these new drives are only suitable for ultramobile PCs and digital-multimedia broadcasting devices.
It's unclear how much these new SSDs cost. Chances are, however, that you won't be able to purchase them at all; rather, they will be available to OEM manufacturers only.