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Get a 240GB Optima solid-state drive for $79.99 shipped

Finally, a big SSD for well under $100. But there is a small catch.


After getting you all hot and bothered about solid-state drives with yesterday's deal on migration software, it seemed only logical to follow up with a post about an actual SSD.

And here it is: For a limited time, and while supplies last, TigerDirect has the PNY Optima Series 240GB SSD for $79.99 shipped. That's after redeeming a $20 mail-in rebate (PDF), and one of the lowest prices I've seen on an SSD of this capacity. (Not long ago, the best you could hope to find for under $100 was a 120GB drive.)

Why bother with an SSD, especially if it means giving up some storage space? Simple: There's no better upgrade for your laptop (or your desktop, though you'll probably need an adapter to make this 2.5-inch drive fit in a desktop bay). I've done this twice now, and in both cases it made a huge difference in performance. Before: both systems were pokey, if not downright sluggish. After: blazing.

Beyond that, an SSD runs quieter than any hard drive, and also generates considerably less heat. Better still, it consumes less power, which should give your laptop a battery boost.

What you don't get here is migration software (see above), and most likely you'll need a couple accessories to help you make your move: a USB-to-SATA cable and an external drive enclosure to house your old drive after you make the swap. (Keep the latter on hand for backup, extra storage, etc.) Once again I'll refer you to this HD-to-SSD migration tutorial for the nuts and bolts of the procedure.

The Optima drive does come with something more important than software, though, and that's a three-year warranty. Also, it has a 4.5-star average rating from nearly three dozen buyers, and that speaks volumes about the drive's quality.

As I said yesterday, if you have a system that's a couple years old, you can make it feel fast and new by installing an SSD. And they don't come much cheaper than this one.

Bonus deal: My favorite gadget of 2014? No contest: DJI's Phantom quad-copter. It's not cheap, but today, at least, it's a little cheaper: For a limited time, StackSocial has the DJI Phantom FC40 for $464 shipped when you apply coupon code PHANTOM35 at checkout. This seriously awesome drone features a wireless HD camera, built-in GPS for automatic "return home" flight and a range of over a quarter mile. I have mad love for this thing, which sells elsewhere for at least $490.

Bonus deal No. 2: In case you missed it yesterday, you can get a free digital copy of when you pair your Disney Movies Anywhere account with your Google Play account. And what I failed to mention is that you can also enjoy that freebie on your iDevice once you've finished the aforementioned pairing. You just need the Disney Movies Anywhere app.