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OK, so let’s make this blatantly clear: Apple’s iOS platform is by no means prone to device/OS fragmentation problems, but nowhere near like Android. In addition to just four screen resolutions, iOS developers, at best, must optimize their warez for a few percent customers who haven’t yet upgraded to the latest and greatest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

Contrast this to Android, where Google’s proclaimed openness and the multitude of device vendors, carriers and suppliers all contribute to the vast array of Android smartphones and tablets that come in hundreds of form factors, screen sizes and price points.

An extensive survey of some 682,000 Android devices has revealed the frightening scale of Android fragmentation and its impact on both users and developers…

UK-based OpenSignal, which specializes in crowdsourced wireless coverage mapping, counted a whopping 11,868 distinct Android devices which downloaded their app this year, nearly three times more compared to the 3,997 distinct Android devices running the OpenSignal app in 2012.

As you can see on the image top of post, last year Samsung’s Galaxy S2 was the most used Android device.

This year, it’s the Galaxy S3 (below).

All flavors and variants of devices made by Google-owned Motorola ended up with a 4.2 percent share (3.9 percent for HTC). The data point clearly highlights why Google is concerned about Samsung’s total dominance of the Android landscape.

“The Android operating system is the most fragmented it has ever been,” OpenSignal remarked.

As for screen sizes, iOS developers have to think about four different resolutions as opposed to the proliferation of different screen sizes on Android. Check out the various physical screen sizes OpenSignal observed on Android phones, with the darkness of the lines representing their frequency.

And now, compare this to iOS.

If you’re an iOS developer, coding for the platform makes a world of difference. Because Apple tends to double pixel density while quadrupling resolution while maintaining the same physical screen size, there are just four different physical screen sizes to code for on the iOS platform.

On the upside, fragmentation does serve as an enabler of the Google ecosystem by allowing for a broader, more geographically dispersed Android market. Fragmentation also benefits consumers through endless choices in terms of screen sizes, price points and feature combinations.

As for developers, the sheer number of Android devices out there represents an opportunity, even if tapping that user base entails spending significant resources to optimize their apps for multiple form factors and Android OS versions.

Take it from David Berlin, lead for the BBC iPlayer Android team, who recently said:

Today we have an Android development team that is almost 3 times the size of the iOS team.

That speaks volume about the difficulties developers faces coding for Android.

Yes, Android has now surpassed one billion activations, as opposed to 600,000 cumulative iOS device activations, but that’s beyond the point for our discussion. Here’s Android fragmentation in comparison with iOS, as viewed from the API fragmentation standpoint.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took a jab at Android during his WWDC 2013 keynote talk, highlighting the fact that 93 percent of his company’s customers run the latest iOS 6 version, as opposed to Android’s 33 percent of Jelly Bean users, 37 percent of Gingerbread (the most prevalent Android version) and 26 percent of Ice Cream Sandwich.

“If you do the math, you would find that iOS 6 is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, and in second place is a version of Android which was released in 2010,” Cook remarked.

It should be noted that Android stats include only those OS versions that talk to Google’s Play store so forked builds like Kindles and Nooks are excluded, as are cheap devices from no-name Chinese vendors.

“This version fragmentation is terrible for developers, as many of you know,” Cook pointed out. Not just developers: often times Android handset vendors don’t even bother updating existing devices, leaving users stuck on older, less secure and less-featured Android builds.

And where Apple simply pushes a software update to users whenever it pleases, Android makers are required to test Google’s Android builds against a plethora of different devices and carriers.

That manufacturers and carriers preload their crapware on top of stock Android experience makes firmware changes a time-consuming, costly affair so most vendors just don’t bother. But lack of updates can have devastating ramifications in terms of platform security.

Case in point: the Android Master Key vulnerability discovered by Bluebox Labs and affecting a staggering 99 percent of Android users.

That’s leaving your users out in the cold right there. In all their short-sightedness, Android backers couldn’t (or wouldn’t) see the long-term value in providing timely software updates.

Over in the Apple land, iOS fragmentation is bound to increase as Apple releases new form-factor devices, such as a rumored smartwatch or a purported full-on television set.

But unlike Android where developers mostly count on Android to automatically scale up their user interfaces for a target device – resulting in blown-up apps that look weird on tablets – Apple has seen tremendous success persuading its army of developers to code for iPhone and iPad natively, resulting in 350,000 submissions made specifically for the iPad out of the 900,000 apps found on the App Store.

In other words, although iOS suffers from fragmentation issues, these pale in comparison to the horrible state of Android fragmentation. Worse, fragmentation now poses a significant headache to Google developers who are required to test and optimize their apps on an ever-increasing number of devices.

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Serplogic Reviews The Current State Of Link Outreach

This is a sponsored post written by SerpLogic. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

When I first launched my SEO blog, SerpLogic, which later pivoted into the full-blown agency it is today, I created the tag-line “Real Talk Marketing,” because I felt there was a severe lack of experience-backed content.

The internet is littered with misinformation and pure fluff, written by talkers, no doers. Think about this for a minute: a larger percentage of the SEO-themed content published is written by people that are regurgitating other articles, and not actually basing their content on knowledge gained by being knee-deep in SEO.

The articles I was publishing started to receive a lot of traction, and I started to receive emails from CMOs and in-house SEO managers at large corporations. They all had the same need and desire: niche-relevant links from real websites.

At this moment I knew there was a huge opportunity, so I immediately went back into agency mode, and built a large internal team of outreach specialists, and within a couple years SerpLogic was doing seven-figures annually. I say this not to brag, but rather make the point that I speak from experience.

The current state of link outreach is a disaster, and I think the end-consumer deserves to know the what the difference is between spammy outreach and genuine outreach. Sadly, many businesses are being sold pure garbage.

Let’s All Agree That Outreach Is Effective & Well Worth the Time and Monetary Investment

There is no denying that real outreach can net real results when it comes to experiencing gains in the SERPs.

It’s worth investing your own time and resources, if available, or hiring an agency to handle this, provided they are actually doing authentic outreach, and not just putting a shiny bow on a bunch of fakes placements and calling them outreach posts.

The Highest Authority Links, Secured the Way Google Loves It – Naturally

While Google’s algorithm has taken several twists and turns over the years, combined with several updates and rollouts, authority links from real sites have never once stopped working.

Sure, there was talk a while ago about Google devaluing editorial links, and I’ve got one thing to say (in my best Trump voice): FAKE NEWS! They work, they have always worked, and they will continue to work.

SEO Boost Along with Branding & Referral Traffic Benefits

The majority of outreach campaigns have one main goal, and that is securing high-quality niche relevant links, but not all value SEO benefits as the main reason for outreach.

Many companies, especially large national brands, value the branding aspect the most, along with the referral traffic gained from well-placed links.

As crazy as it might sound, the SEO benefits of outreach are in the number three spot in terms of the “why,” for some companies.

Sadly, Most Outreach Providers Are Snake Oil Salesmen

The average business owner doesn’t know how to sniff out a low-quality blog that exists solely for link dropping. They see the metrics like Domain Authority (DA), which is easily inflated, and receive a report showing the blog post.

They assume the agency did a knock-out job when in reality they received a Fiverr quality link that delivers absolutely zero value.

Now, not all outreach posts are going to appear on top authority sites, but selling placements obtained (I use that term loosely) on websites that receive no real traffic is dirty.

They Are ‘Securing’ Placements on Websites That Receive Zero Traffic

Want to know how to quickly determine whether a blog placement is on a quality website?

Look at the engagement of the most recent dozen posts. Are there social shares? Comments? If not, a red flag should go up.

Timeline in terms of securing placements is also a key indicator. Real quality outreach takes time, yet there are agencies delivering outreach posts in a matter of 24 hours.

It takes several pitches and multiple back-and-forth conversations to secure a single post. There are no shortcuts when performing real outreach.

You Are at Risk Belonging to Such a Massive Footprint

Not only do poor quality posts suck up your outreach budget and deliver zero value, but they also put your website in danger of being penalized and slapped right out of the SERPs.

You see, these low-quality blogs typically feature very general and generic themes, which allows the owners to drop links to any and all niches.

If one of these sites is identified, Google has no problem identifying every website link from the blog and handing out penalties like candy.

Metrics Are Inflated & Referral Traffic Is Non-Existent

If you come across a claimed outreach post that appears to have no signs of life, dive into the metrics. I know a lot of SEO industry people love DA, but it’s easily gamed and can be inflated using Fiverr spam gigs.

What to Demand in Your Outreach Provider

If you are purchasing outreach posts, demand the best. This includes placements on not only high authority websites but also niche-relevant ones that have strong traffic numbers.

Also, make sure you are being placed into content that is well written. If you are featured in a $5 outsourced article, it’s a bad look for your company and also makes the post much easier for Google to spot and penalize.

Final Thoughts

Link building isn’t going away anytime soon because links are still the number one factor when trying to rank organically in the SERPs. This makes securing high-quality niche-relevant links a top priority of every SEO strategy.

You can either do the outreach on your own, spending countless hours every day making new contacts, following up on pending pitches, and coordinating content, or you can hire an agency to handle the outreach.

Hopefully, this post has made you aware of the pure garbage that’s being presented as outreach, when in reality it’s low-level blog posts.

If you are tight on time, consider my agency’s link-building outreach service, which secures your website placements on real websites through authentic human-to-human outreach.

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Apple @ Work: What’s The State Of Enterprise Communication Tools?

Apple @ Work is brought to you by Spike, the world’s first conversational email app that helps professionals and teams spend less time on email, and more on getting things done.

I started working in a corporate environment in 2004. Since then, I’ve watched enterprise communications dramatically change. Back then, we relied on Outlook, desk phones, and the occasional cell phone call. Today, the landscape looks completely different. We still have e-mail, but we’ve also added tools like iMessage, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more. What’s ironic is that I feel overwhelmed at times. I joked with my wife that working in 2023 sometimes feels like keeping inboxes empty. Let’s take a look at the current state of enterprise communication tools.

We have just published a new video webinar on our YouTube channel (you can watch below) that discusses the state of modern enterprise communications, all the tools modern workers are using, and the pros and cons of each.

During the webinar, I’ll break down the following tools: e-mail, Slack-style services, direct phone calls, and iMessage.

E-mail

E-mail is still the central tool for many businesses because it’s based on an open standard. E-mail is also available to internal employees as well as external people. Another critical consideration for a lot of businesses is archiving messages for legal reasons. While tools like Slack have options to store messages for compliance reasons, iMessage has end to end encryption, so your legal team will have no access to it outside of getting ahold of a device that is unlocked. A new survey also reports that 71% would prefer to use an service/app that combines all emails and messages in one place

iMessage as an enterprise communication tool

iMessage has its benefits because it’s built into all Apple devices, but that will limit Windows and Android users from taking part in the conversation. It’s fast-paced, but it lacks tools to deal with Do Not Disturb/Out of Office. While a lot of business communications happens over iMessage, it’s lack of archiving options, and lack of non-Apple device access should cause IT managers to guide their users to other platforms that are better suited for the task.

Slack and Microsoft Teams

I’ve been using Slack for many years now, and I am starting to see the cracks in how it works. Slack’s general channels can be challenging to follow if you aren’t paying attention to them. It’s akin to having to sit by the water cooler at work to be able to catch up on the conversation. Slack does a great job of letting you set “do not disturb” hours, but I think it could go even further by allowing you schedule messages to be sent when users are next online (or even on desktop mode). There are times when I can see someone is offline, I want to message them, but I don’t want to notify them on mobile (or Apple Watch). While these enterprise communication tools are useful, they also have their faults.

Enterprise communication tools wrap-up

Thanks to Spike for sponsoring Apple @ Work. Spike conversational email gives your team superpowers. Turn your email into the only workspace app you’ll ever need. Chat, email and great collaboration tools to save you time, all in one place. Get more done with Spike. Try it for free on all platforms now.

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10 Of The Best Weather Apps For Android And Iphone

Many weather apps are not only as accurate as possible but offer additional features, such as radar, future-casts, and beautiful graphics. Choosing the right one can be difficult since there are numerous options to choose from. You’re bound to find that right one in this list of the best weather apps for Android and iPhone.

Note: if you’re here because you are looking for a Dark Sky alternative, you’re in the right place. Apple made Dark Sky an exclusive iOS app in 2023. However, Apple’s now creating their very own weather app, and Dark Sky is being completely discontinued in 2023.

1. Weather & Radar

An aptly named weather app providing both simple and detailed forecasts.

Weather & Radar provides one of the best future radars among free weather apps. While the full screen ad upon opening is annoying, the forecasts are accurate, and the app itself is easy to navigate. Tapping an hour or day will give you more details, or skip ahead to view graphical charts. Plus, you can get notifications about weather news, upcoming changes (such as temperature drops), and quick 90-minute weather details.

Pros:

An all-in-one app with news, forecasts, radar, and alerts

Detailed hourly forecasts (includes pressure, dew point, feels like, wind, precipitation chance, and temperature)

Future radar up to four days

Cons:

2. Yr

Beautifully designed for ease of use while looking great at the same time.

Yr is designed by the Norwegian Weather Agency but can be used anywhere in the world. It’s beautifully designed, letting you swipe across a nicely-animated sky to check the weather on different days and at different times of the day.

Pros:

Ad-free and doesn’t require location data

Visual hour-by-hour scrolling forecasts

Sky, table, and graph forecast layouts

Cons:

No radar

Updates aren’t as frequent as claimed (supposedly every seven minutes, but they can take up to an hour at times)

Beyond the nice design, it has plenty of great features too. You can get updates on air pollution and pollen spread in your area and opt in to receive notifications whenever there will be rain in the next 90 minutes. Yr has a great prediction model and is completely free and ad-free, thanks to being government-funded.

3. Today Weather

Simple, beautiful, and accurate weather app with multiple weather data sources.

Today Weather is easy to navigate without being too cluttered, like some weather apps. Never get caught off-guard with 24-hour forecasts, alerts, and radar. The quick-view widget also gives you a nice overview of your day. However, for the best experience, premium is better and ad-free. For instance, chúng tôi Accuweather, and Dark Sky forecasts are premium only.

Pros:

Choose forecasts from multiple sources, such as Accuweather, Dark Sky, chúng tôi chúng tôi and more

Includes radar and alerts

Offers over 20 customizable widgets

Cons:

Try the free version and upgrade to premium if you’d like for $1.99 for six months, $2.99/year, or $8.99/lifetime.

4. Weather & Widget – Weawow

Incredibly stunning weather photography mixes with easy-to-navigate forecasts.

Weather & Widget, also called Weawow, is a rare gem among weather apps. It’s not only free and ad-free, but the user photos make the app beautiful to use. You can even upload and sell your own. Daily and ongoing notifications help you avoid any surprises. Multiple widgets along with a customizable layout and radar ensure this app looks and functions the way you want it to.

Pros:

Cons:

Asks for location data to provide to third-parties, but it’s not required

While the app is completely free to use, the developer does ask that you donate if you like the app. Choose one-time or monthly donations of $2, $5, or $10. You can also donate a custom amount via PayPal.

5. The Weather Channel

One of the most well-known and reliable weather apps for both Android and iOS.

The Weather Channel is one of the most recognizable names in weather. While it offers all the basics of radar, daily/hourly forecasts, and alerts, the real standout is the weather videos and forecasts. See forecasts from The Weather Channel meteorologists for your region and weather videos from around the world.

Pros:

Includes video forecasts and weather stories (text and video)

Has seasonal weather sections

Provides detailed hourly forecasts (temp, feels like temp, precipitation, humidity, UV index, wind, and cloud cover)

Cons:

6. AccuWeather

With minute-by-minute forecasts, you’ll never be caught off guard.

Pros:

Minute by minute forecasts

Detailed daily forecasts

Includes weather stories from AccuWeather forecasters

Cons:

7. Firstscreen Weather

Available on: Android

The weather app with a really long name but impressive forecasts and features.

Firstscreen Weather: Digital Artery, Weather App, Climatic Armor – The Weather App offers in-depth weather forecasts that include wind, UV, humidity, precipitation, pressure, and visibility. You also get hour-by-hour forecasts and comparisons to the previous day. Colorful graphics help you quickly see the weather for the week ahead at a glance. Plus, you get the bonus of an easy-to-use radar and conditions for various lifestyle activities and allergies.

Pros:

Detailed forecasts hour by hour

Offers comparisons to yesterday

Includes Lifestyle Weather Index (shows conditions for outdoor cardio, walking the dog, etc.)

Cons:

However, in-app purchases are listed as $9.99, but the app itself doesn’t explain how much a premium subscription costs or what the benefits are.

8. Overdrop

Easy-to-use and customizable weather app with colorful themes.

Overdrop lets you plan ahead with 24-hour and weekly forecasts. See what’s coming with an impressive 96-hour future radar. You can also customize the appearance, which is a bonus. The hyperlocal data ensures you don’t get caught by surprise. Of course, alerts mean you don’t have to constantly check your phone for weather changes. One thing that really sets Overdrop apart from the rest is an impressive 51 widgets.

Pros:

Offers four weather providers (Weather Bit, Dark Sky, Open Weather Map, AccuWeather)

Customize with different themes

Detailed forecasts for the 7-day forecast

Cons:

9. WeatherBug

One of the most feature-rich weather apps and ideal for commuters.

WeatherBug is a veteran among weather apps, especially for providing hyperlocal forecasts, thanks to working with local weather reporting stations near your area. What really sets the app apart are the 20 map layers to see just the type of weather information you want most. Plus, for commuters, get a detailed look at current and upcoming conditions along with traffic cameras.

Pros:

Offers 20 different map layers

Includes weather videos, including future outlooks

Provides commuter weather details and lightning strike warnings

Cons:

10. Weather Underground

One of the best hyperlocal weather apps, thanks to data from over 250,000 personal weather stations.

Pros:

Get weather forecasts from local weather stations

Create customized forecasts for your activities (premium only)

Detailed forecasts in graphical form

Cons:

Premium upgrade required to see 15-day forecast (10-day included in free plan)

Weather videos and news stories are slow to load

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Is it worth paying for a weather app? 2. Why doesn’t my weather app agree with my local news forecast?

Weather apps pull their data from various sources, which will vary from your local news forecast. If available, consider downloading your local news weather app. They don’t always offer as many features but may give you most accurate forecasts for your area. Many local weather apps pull some data from The Weather Channel.

3. Should I use more than one weather app?

Many users prefer to use at least a couple of weather apps to get a more well-rounded forecast. For instance, I personally use my local news station’s weather app and Weather & Radar, as the forecasts vary slightly. The former gives me video forecasts, while the latter gives me more details for hourly and daily. However, this is a personal preference and nothing more.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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Best New Android Games For The Week Of 14Th September, 2014

Hello, Game Freaks! It’s time for your weekly dose of the new and best Android games. You’ll be finding great new games to try, which are worth checking out! Hope you enjoy this. Also, stay tuned with us on Google+, Twitter or Facebook for more next week and so forth.

Dot Wave

Dot wave is an amazing endless runner style game. It just has an arrow that travels from left to right. And the controls are extremely simple. You are required to only tap and hold the screen to make the arrow go up, and when you release the hold, the arrow comes down. Sounds simple right? But wait a sec, where’s the fun when it’s all simple? To add a twist, the game has a trippy world in which the arrow moves and the world move or flip in any direction in the random mode. There’s also a rotation mode in which the world rotates.

CAUTION : this can be addictively difficult. The levels starts from hard. There is no easy or medium. Hard, harder, hardest, hardestest.

If you enjoy Super Hexagon, Spiral Pulse, Wave Wave, or any difficult twitch game, you’ll love .wave (Dot Wave)

[ Press – UP ] [ Release – DOWN ]

This intense twitch game includes 20+ tracks from the renown artist Teknoaxe.

Download it for free from Play store.

[pb-app-box pname=’com.vrdeveloper.wave’ name=’Dot Wave’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

Strike Wing: Raptor Rising

If you fancy high flying aero action, this game is just for you. Strike wing is an air plane simulator with action that takes place in space and not in earth’s atmosphere. It features many futuristic alien ships which you can use and fight against. To give you an immersive game play, it comes with the cock pit mode which makes a highly enjoyable experience. The game is free, but with a limitations. There’s an in app purchase to unlock the full game.

Strike Wing is a single player space combat simulator that combines sharp controls, beautiful graphics and adaptable missions to create an unique space combat experience for mobile devices.

Fly beautifully designed ships in asteroid fields, around planetary orbits or in deep space. Experience a colorful and vibrant representation of space on your mobile device.

Choose from super-fast and nimble fighters to heavy torpedo bombers, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and style of play. Progress through the levels to gain access to more ships and features!

Missions adapt to your style of play, to your skill and ship choice to give you a consistent challenge every time you play. Need an extra challenge? You can make each mission more difficult at a flip of a switch and reap better rewards.

[pb-app-box pname=’com.vrdeveloper.wave’ name=’Dot Wave’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

Download the trial for free from Play store and make an in app purchase to buy the full game.

[pb-app-box pname=’com.strikewing.GG_green’ name=’ Strike Wing: Raptor Rising’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

Make Them Fall

[pb-app-box pname=’com.strikewing.GG_green’ name=’ Strike Wing: Raptor Rising’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

Haven’t you played ninja jump or make them jump? If yes, how about an inverse of the game? Make them fall is just that. In this game you have to control two or more stickman (upto 6, all at a time) falling down between two walls. Your aim is to make them fall without touching the obstacles by jumping from one wall to another. The most amazing part is that you can even play up to 6 jumpers and control them with your fingers (use both hands :P).

The sequel of the popular game Make Them Jump is now available! It’s called Make Them Fall.

Make all the dudes fall and jump to avoid the obstacles.

You can play with all your fingers to control up to 6 dudes, or just ask for some help to your friends!

How long can you last out?

Download it for free from Play store.

[pb-app-box pname=’com.ketchapp.makethemfall’ name=’Make Them Fall’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

ICE

ICE is a simple strategy game, in which you are required to capture the planets with your own army/fleets. You control your army (simplistic ant-like ships) and capture the enemy areas. You can only capture the connected bases, not the non-connected ones. Playing this game on a bigger screen is more enjoyable.

Quick and addicting real-time strategy. Beautiful, not-so-simple, just awesome.

Control your army of ant-like ships. Capture connected enemy bases (remember that you can’t simply capture a non-connected base – this would be too easy!) You win when you control everything, you lose when you lose everything. Good luck!

Works really well on tablets and devices with big screens.

The game was originally designed and created during 48 hours for Ludum Dare 30.

Download it for free from Play store. It offer In-app purchase for unlocking the full game.

[pb-app-box pname=’com.queader.ice’ name=’ICE’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

[pb-app-box pname=’com.queader.ice’ name=’ICE’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]

Laptops With Solid State Drives: Pros And Cons

With Apple’s sexy MacBook Air thrusting them into the limelight, laptops with built-in solid state drives (SSDs) are suddenly all the rage. Now they are also available from a variety of Windows OEMs including Lenovo, Toshiba and Dell. While the drives can offer higher performance than conventional rotating storage, they also add about $500- $800 to the base purchase price of laptops, and can be almost ten times as expensive as a standard hard disk.

Groups of SSDs are also being found in higher-end storage area network arrays for bigger storage needs too. Examples include Texas Memory Systems’ RamSan, Solid Data Systems’ StorageSpire, and Violin Memory’s 1010 appliances – which can hold at least a terabyte of data.

What are some of the things to consider in buying an SSD-capable laptop, and are there situations where you would better off with the conventional hard disk-equipped models?

First, let’s look at the typical configurations that are currently available. Many manufacturers offer SSDs with (at the bottom end) 32 GB of storage, which can be limiting if you need the space for videos, photographs, or a large email archive. Toshiba sells its laptop with 128 GB SSD, the same price that it earlier offered a model with half that capacity. Dell sells a laptop that starts around $1,500, while the others have configurations that are at least $2,500. Dell also has the widest selection of SSD-capable models: two lines (Latitude and Precision Workstation) and multiple models (at least at this writing) of each.

What about the need for speed? Are the SSDs faster than conventional disks?

For the most part, yes. Dell claims that its SSD can improve Latitude D430 performance up to 23 percent and can reduce boot time by up to 34 percent. Other analysts have seen similar results, because you don’t have to wait for the drive to spin up or for the rotors to seek the specific place on the platter to read the data.

Apparent drive speed is made up of several factors: access time, or the time it takes for the disk to locate the data stored on the surface, and transfer rates, or how fast the information can move through the various electronics and bus connectors to the central processing unit of the PC itself.

One user, the electronics cataloger IC Source, replaced their conventional disk drive arrays with the SSD-based RamSan for their database application.

“For us that was a major breakthrough in speed,” said Peter Moran, President of IC Source. “Let’s say you update inventory at 8:00 AM. With the old RAID array you would be lucky to have it in the database by 1:00 PM. Now with the RamSan, you can expect to see it online within the hour. In some cases the inventory is updated in just seconds.”

But speed isn’t the only criterion. What about how much power is used by the SSD, and what it will do to the overall battery life of the laptop?

Before you can make any definitive conclusions, you have to look at more than just the SSD itself. “You need to know what chips and technologies are being used inside the SSD along with what kind of data connection is being used between the SSD and the overall PC itself,” says Brian Beard, the Flash Marketing Manager at Samsung.

Beard talks about two factors that can swing SSD-based laptops to either save or consume more power. “First, you have to examine the disk controller used in the laptop,” he says. Thinner and older laptops – such as the MacBook Air and the older Dell 430 models — make use of a parallel ATA interface, which uses electronics that can consume more energy and degrade battery life. “The newer laptops use SATA-2 interfaces, which use half the power of the parallel ATA interfaces,” he says.

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