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SanDisk has lightning-fast SSD drives that are as cheap as regular hard drives

Published May 27th, 2015 7:45AM EDT
SanDisk Z400s SSD Price HDD
Image: SanDisk

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Solid-state drive (SSD) can significantly increase the performance of a computers compared to regular hard-disk drives (HDD), but flash memory has never been the most affordable option for buyers. However, that’s about to change, as SanDisk on Tuesday announced a new family of SSDs that should be as affordable as regular HDDs.

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The SanDisk Z400s it the new “cost-effective” SSD announced by the company. The device is supposed to be 20 times faster than HDDs and consume 20 times less power while offering five times better reliability than regular HDDs.

The SanDisk Z400s comes in multiple formats, including mSATA, 2.5-inch SATA and M.2 (2242 and 2280), and in various capacities, including 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. As Myce notes, the Z400s will offer sequential read and write speeds of 549MB/s and 330MB/, while random read and write speeds are at 33K and 62K IOPS, respectively.

It’s not clear when the Z400s will be commercially available, but SanDisk says that it’s already sampling customers immediately. Pricing details have not been revealed either, and these SSDs might initially be available to OEMs initially, but that’s still good news, as laptops and other devices will in the near future ship with such flash storage on board rather than conventional HDDs.

A video and the full press release follow below.

SanDisk Introduces New SSD Optimized for Mobile Computing and Embedded Applications

Z400s SSD Brings New Levels of Affordability to Replace Hard Drives in Laptops and Applications Such as Digital Signage, Point-of-Sale (POS) and Surveillance Systems

SEOUL, Korea, May 26, 2015 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today introduced the new SanDisk Z400s SSD, a cost effective solid-state drive (SSD) designed to replace hard-disk drives (HDDs) in computing platforms and embedded applications. PCs and embedded systems need consistent, reliable access to storage in order to meet business demands. The Z400s outperforms HDDs by 20×1, while providing 5x the reliability with 20x lower average power consumption, all at a price point on par with HDDs2. The SanDisk Z400s SSD joins the company’s existing portfolio of flash-based solutions that are designed to deliver a delightful user experience and reliability at an affordable price point.

“The Z400s represents a feat of engineering that addresses the needs of two distinct markets—PC OEM manufacturers and embedded application designers,” said Rizwan Ahmed, senior director of product marketing, client platform solutions, SanDisk. “With a single architecture, SanDisk is able to provide OEMs with an affordable solution for displacing HDDs in today’s cutting edge consumer devices, and help embedded application designers avoid overpaying for un-needed space—all while delivering the peak performance and high-reliability that only SSDs can supply.”

An Economic Way for OEMs to Add Value and Competitive Advantage
With a variety of form factors and capacities, lightweight design and cost-effective architecture, PC OEMs can incorporate the new SanDisk Z400s into sleeker, mobile laptop designs without breaking bill of materials (BOM) costs. Additionally, because SSDs have no moving parts, they are much less prone to failure, which increases device uptime. According to published data, HDDs are three times more likely to fail than SSDs.3 By designing systems with the new SanDisk Z400s SSD, PC OEMs can deliver products that are 5x more reliable and 20x faster than traditional hard drives, translating into fewer returns, lower total cost of ownership and increased overall customer satisfaction.

IDC forecasts that the Intelligent Systems market will ship over two billion units in 2019 with the industrial segments growing the fastest.4 Digital signage, security surveillance, POS or kiosk environments are key areas where SanDisk SSDs can provide major benefits over HDDs, particularly in applications where the storage requirements are relatively short-term—meaning that data is frequently cleared from the device. Thus these applications only require low capacities, but reliability and performance levels are paramount.

Greater Reliability for Industrial Embedded Systems
Embedded industrial systems rely on storage’s ability to execute one task consistently with minimal downtime. The Z400s can withstand up to 1.7 million hours of continual use, delivering greater stability during peak activity, underscoring its high-endurance design and reliability. Available in multiple form factors and capacities as low as 32GB, the new SanDisk Z400s SSD meets embedded systems applications designers’ performance, reliability, size, low power, interface and scalability requirements for the following use cases:

• Digital Signage: The rise of big data analytics is driving the use of digital signage for transportation, advertising, retailers and more. The Z400s delivers the latest advances in flash storage technology so that users and manufacturers of digital signage equipment can trust their solution will consistently provide valuable and current information to all audiences.

• POS: Research shows that customers become frustrated after 2.5 minutes if there is no progress in a checkout line; after five minutes, one out of three customers will abandon the line altogether.5 The Z400s provides the performance and reliability that retail, hospitality, restaurant services, and many other industries need to ensure a quality customer experience and inspire brand loyalty.

• Security-Surveillance: The Z400s is extremely beneficial at the point of image capture, where ruggedness, durability and performance are critical, but storage requirements are relatively short-term. This includes digital cameras where images are cleared more frequently, but still operate 24/7 in order to reduce risk, such as in courtrooms or government buildings, healthcare facilities and shopping malls.

The SanDisk Z400s is sampling with customers immediately in mSATA, 2.5” SATA and M.2 (2242 and 2280) form factors, in capacities of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB*. For more information on the Z400s for mainstream computing and embedded applications, view this video or visit z400s.

Visit SanDisk at World IT Expo 2015, Seoul
See live demos of the new Z400s and SanDisk’s complete portfolio of flash-enabled solutions at booth CB101 3F Hall C in COEX Exhibition Hall during the World IT Show 2015, taking place May 26-27th.

Visit SanDisk at Computex Taipei 2015
See live demos and interact with SanDisk flash technology experts during Computex 2015 taking place June 2-6 at the Taipei World Trade Center NANGANG Exhibition Hall 4F, Stand number: N0804. SanDisk will be showcasing its latest breadth of offerings, as well as hosting interactive video sessions and social media contests. Hear Chris Bergey, vice-president and general manager of mobile and tablet solutions at SanDisk, discuss how mobile storage innovation is shaping mobile OEM monetization during Compuforum on Thursday, June 5 from 11:00am-11:30am.
About SanDisk

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, is a global leader in flash storage solutions. For more than 25 years, SanDisk has expanded the possibilities of storage, providing trusted and innovative products that have transformed the electronics industry. Today, SanDisk’s quality, state-of-the-art solutions are at the heart of many of the world’s largest data centers, and embedded in advanced smart phones, tablets and PCs. SanDisk’s consumer products are available at hundreds of thousands of retail stores worldwide. For more information, visit

1 As compared to 5400 RPM SATA 2.5” hard drive, based on published specifications and internal benchmarking tests using PCMark Vantage scores.
2 Pricing comparison dependent upon capacity.
3 “SSDs do die, as Linus Torvalds just discovered,” Computerworld, Sept. 12, 2013.
4 Worldwide Embedded and Intelligent Systems 2014-2019 Market Update.
5 Ibid Footnote No.3 from SanDisk Whitepaper “Top Five Reasons to Use Solid-State Drives in POS Systems.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.