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In one corner: hard disk drives. In the other corner: solid state drives. The winner: to be determined. Solid state drives have been gaining popularity over the past year or two. They bring a lot to the table the standard hard drives do not. Let's take a look at them.
The short version is that solid state acts a lot like memory sticks from your digital camera or camcorder. There is no RPM to consider, no magnets, heads or spinning parts like a normal hard drive. So they boot up faster, allow your computer to access data faster, fragmentation is a non-issue, and they can stand up to a fall other hard drives cannot. Computers with these drives tend to be lighter weight than their standard counterparts, making them more and more common on 11 and 12-inch notebooks.
The drawbacks? There are two main ones. First, the storage capacity is much smaller for solid state right now. Second, they are going to cost more than larger hard disk drives will.
Are they worth it? That really depends on you. As far as performance goes, they are great. If you are looking for large storage for less money you might want to wait a little bit on the solid state laptop hard drives. However, if you want ultra lightweight and portable notebooks with shorter boot times, faster data access and little to no fragmentation, it is definitely worth it.