Fujitsu is offering subnotebooks using flash memory rather than hard drives, as rumours persist claiming Apple will reveal its own such solution in future.

Announced yesterday, Fujitsu is offering flash memory as an option with its LifeBook P1610 and B6210 models, both touchscreen, ultra-portable notebooks, hard drive-based versions remain available.

The machines will be sold with a choice of either 16GB or 32GB of flash memory installed.

Customers will have to pay more for NAND flash memory than traditional spinning magnetic drives, but they will gain benefits like reduced power consumption, lower latency with data traffic, faster boot times, and reduced noise, heat and weight, said Paul Moore, Fujitsu's senior director of mobile product marketing.

Last week Apple Inc. declined to comment on rumors that it would soon offer a flash-based "subnotebook." And Intel Corp. plans to embed flash storage on motherboards as part of the next-generation Centrino notebook platform it will launch in the second half of 2007.

Prices for flash memory are expected to decline this year.

Ben Ames of IDG News Service contributed to this story