Another cool thing about the transition to Intel is the availability of more information for informed guesses about the future direction of Apple hardware. Since Apple is increasingly using technology also offered to other OEMs it's harder for Apple to keep likely future developments secret for as long as they have in the past. This informed speculation
in APC Magazine is a perfect example. They apparently interviewed a Samsung engineer about the new hybrid hard drives
that Microsoft is promoting for use with Vista and asked if Samsung had offered the technology to Apple. The Samsung engineer indicated that they had done so but that Apple had turned them down. This leads APC to conjecture that Apple is likely to use Intel's Robson flash chip technology in future notebooks instead. The flash chip module uses flash memory "as a 'smart storage' buffer between system RAM and the hard drive." This offers a number of potential benefits including quicker boot times and better performance on apps that access the hard drive a lot (since flash is faster than a hard drive), as well as improved battery life (since the power hunger motor in the HD is not spinning as much). Let's just hope that Apple gets out in front on this technology like they have with so many others.