If you've built or upgraded a rig recently, you probably struggled with whether to spend your money on oodles of storage (mechanical hard drive) or raw speed (solid state drive). You're not alone. Ultrabook makers find themselves in the same boat, and rather than choose one over the other, hybrid hard drives may provide the compromise between cheap(er) storage and fast performance they're looking for.
Sources in the supply chain apparently tipped DigiTimes that many next-generation Ultrabook models built around Intel's Ivy Bridge platform will sport hybrid HDDs. It's a cost cutting measure that "most vendors are expected to adopt" as they look at ways to make Ultrabooks more affordable.
The savings can be significant. According to DigiTimes, hybrid HDDs are more than 50 percent less expensive than 128GB and 256GB SSDs. That's a big deal when you consider that storage accounts for 10-15 percent of an Ultrabook's total production cost.
In addition to cheaper storage, Intel is expected to give Ultrabook makers a break on Ivy Bridge processor pricing, which will be reduced by $60 to $70, DigiTimes reports. Intel's unconfirmed price break combined with the savings that will accompany a move to hybrid storage device could lead to a fair number of Ultrabook models selling for between $600 and $700 later this year.