The newest Serial-ATA solid-state drives will be hitting retailer shelves, but would you buy one?
Brooke CrothersFormer CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
OCZ Vertex SSD drives start at $129 for a 30GB SSD. Other capacities include a 120GB drive for $469 and a 250GB SSD for $869. Though $869 may seem pricey compared to a 7200RPM 250GB hard-disk drive that can retail for well under $100, it's relatively cheap for a large-capacity SSD. In the past, SanDisk had sold a 256GB drive through resellers that was priced, almost incredibly, at more than $15,000. Axiom had been selling 256GB solid-state drives priced above $6,000.
OCZ says the Vertex Series of SSDs have a 1.5 million-hour mean time before failure (MTBF), "ensuring peace of mind over the long term." Solid-state drives, since their inception, have been plagued by doubts about write durability. SSD manufacturers such as Intel, Micron Technology, and Samsung say long-term durability is no longer an issue.
Unfortunately, the only way to get the newest SSDs in some cases is by ordering a laptop. Samsung is now offering its latest-and-greatest 128GB SATA drives in ultraportable laptops such as the MacBook Air and the Dell Latitude E4200 and E4300.
The Latitude E4300 can be configured with a 128GB SSD for $460 more than the standard 160GB 5400RPM hard disk drive.