Notebook flash drives found to have high failure rates

E-disk_2-5_scsi According to an analyst’s recent visit to Asia, a certain unnamed computer manufacturer is seeing a 10-20% failure rate of notebooks with solid state drives. CNET’s Michael Kanellos posits that it’s probably Dell, since it’s “so far the manufacturer that has promoted flash drives in notebooks the most.”

Apparently Samsung’s got a solid state drive in the works that corrects most of the issues seen with current drives, according to someone at Dell . The rep wouldn’t comment on the other issue concerning whether or not the high-failing notebooks came from Dell but did acknowledge that flash-based drives aren’t always faster, especially with programs like Microsoft Outlook.

The industry is also looking to shift from single-bit flash memory to the more-affordable multi-bit memory but multi-bit is known to be less reliable. So if the single-bit memory is failing at such a high rate, the move to multi-bit wouldn’t be too popular at this time. The industry might start making the shift at the end of the year, which would drive SSD prices down. On the whole, however, flash memory prices have fallen about 50% since Q4 of last year, so they should eventually become much more affordable.

Analyst: Returns, technical problems high with flash-based notebooks [Crave]