Asustek Light Laptop Sports Large Solid-State Drive - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Asustek Light Laptop Sports Large Solid-State Drive

The 3-pound, 12-inch S121 notebook boasts a 512-GB SSD and an eight-hour battery life.

Asustek S121 Laptop

Asustek S121 laptop
(click for larger image)

Asustek unveiled a slim and light 12-inch laptop with a 512-GB solid-state drive, which the company says is the largest SSD available in a mobile PC.

The computer maker, best known for its Eee PC netbooks, gave a peek at the S121 on Tuesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The new laptop, which appears to be a larger twin of the company's S101 mini-notebook, is about an inch thick and weighs 3 pounds.

The S121 gets up to eight hours of battery life with its 512-GB SSD and Asustek's Super Hybrid Engine, a technology created through redesigning hardware, software, and BIOS to boost performance and power efficiency. Asustek claims the technology extends battery life 35% to 53%.

The new laptop is powered by Intel's Atom Z520 processor. The company has not disclosed pricing or when the product will be available. With such a large SSD, however, the system is likely to be pricey. SSDs are far more expensive than traditional hard disk drives, but offer faster data transfer rates and are lighter and more rugged.

Asustek is only the latest computer maker to introduce a laptop with extended battery life. Apple, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard have introduced laptops that the vendors claim get eight hours of battery life or more. Apple introduced Tuesday at the Macworld conference a 17-inch MacBook Pro with extended battery life.

Along with the S121, Asustek also introduced at CES the Eee PC T91 and T101H, both tablet computers with touch screens.

Asustek's Eee PC, which started off as a 7-inch netbook that sold for less than $400, launched the mini-notebook market a couple of years ago. Today, netbooks, which are typically 10 inches or less and cost as little as $300, are offered by all the major computer makers. The low-end systems are expected to drive worldwide market growth in terms of shipments through 2012, according to IDC.

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