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Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit review: What first-time SSD buyers have looked for

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The Good The Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit comes with all necessary accessories for first-time SSD buyers and offers fast performance.

The Bad The Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit is comparatively expensive, especially for those who don't need its accessories.

The Bottom Line The Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit makes a great buy for first-time SSD upgrader.

7.5 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Support 10

The Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit is a complete -- possibly the most complete -- solution for those wanting to migrate to a solid-state drive (SSD), by including everything you need for the job.

The SSDNow KC100 drive itself also proved to be very fast in my testing and can be used in both desktops and laptops, except for systems that require drives that are 7mm thin. It's the first drive I've seen in a long time that uses the traditional 9.5mm thin, 2.5-inch standard, instead of the newer and increasingly popular 7mm thickness.

All things considered, however, at the street price of $287 for 240GB (or $645 for 480GB and $156 for 120GB), the Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit makes a very good buy for those who plan to upgrade their laptop/desktop for the first time. If you already have other upgrade-related accessories or are looking for a thinner drive, check out those on this top-five list.

Design and features

Drive type 9.5mm-thick, 2.5-inch standard internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Product dimensions 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 240GB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

Out of the box, the a long list of items, including: a SSDNow KC100 drive, a USB enclosure with USB cable, a set of 3.5-ich brackets and mounting screws (for use with a desktop computer), SATA power and data cables, and a CD of drive cloning software. These are all you need to upgrade a laptop computer to the new SSD. After that, you can use the old hard drive as an external bus-powered hard drive with the USB enclosure.

Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit comes with all you need as a first-time upgrader.
Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit comes with all you need as a first-time upgrader. Dong Ngo/CNET

The enclosure itself, unfortunately, doesn't support USB 3.0; just the good-old USB 2.0. This is not a big deal, though, since I suspect that most existing computers that need to be upgraded to an SSD don't support USB 3.0 anyway, and the KC100's included Acronis-based bootable cloning CD doesn't support USB 3.0, either.

The SSDNow KC100 drive itself is very similar to a standard 2.5-inch hard drive, with the same dimensions and thickness. The drive's casing is made of solid aluminum painted to look like plastic. The drive is about as heavy as a regular hard drive and feels very solid.

Like many other SSDs, the SSDNow KC100 comes with overprovisioning. Overprovisioning is a feature that enables the use of part of an SSD's storage space to enhance the drive's performance. This explains why the drive's capacities are 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB, instead of 128GB, 240GB, and 512GB in the case of drives don't have this feature.

The drive's included cloning CD is bootable, and the cloning software it contains only works if you boot a computer using the CD. You can't install the software and expect to use it within Windows. In this regard, the upgrade process is almost exactly the same as in this CNET How-To. The software also supports Windows only; if you want to clone other operating systems, such as a Mac, you'll need to use different software.

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