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Faster laptops ahoy

Unless you're living under a rock, you probably know that Apple introduced two new MacBook Air models last month. What you might not know is the secret of their impressive size, weight and speed - SSD drives.

SSD means solid-state drive. You know how your iPhone (or iPod Touch, or iPod nano, or iPad, or most other company's smartphones and tablets) doesn't have a hard drive, but runs entirely from flash memory? Well, SSD brings a similar idea to full-size PCs. That might sound crazy, but the MacBook Air can have up to 256GB of the stuff, more storage than offered by most hard-drive based netbooks.

So what, we hear you ask? For nearly a grand, the MacBook Air should be fast. But here's the good news: SSD technology is coming to the PC. Toshiba, who make the SSDs Apple uses in the Air, are now selling them to other companies.

That means it should be mere months before we start seeing major manufacturers like Dell, Samsung - and Toshiba themselves - churning out high-power netbooks with these babies in. Say goodbye to waiting a minute for your computer to turn on...

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