You know those value-oriented Intel X25-V solid-state drives we talked about last month? The first one of them has now become available at Newegg for a relatively affordable $129.99 (with free shipping).
That price gets you a 2.5", 40GB SSD in a retail box with a three-year warranty as well as a 2.5"-to-3.5" adapter bracket. Intel's spec sheet (PDF) says the drive uses 34-nm flash memory, has TRIM support, and manages sustained sequential speeds of 170MB/s for reads and 35MB/s for writes.
By comparison, the retail-boxed 80GB X25-M sells for $299.99 and achieves sequential read and write speeds of 250MB/s and 70MB/s, respectively—quite a bit faster. The X25-M also has lower write latency, although other attributes like the mean-time-between failures rating and 300MB/s Serial ATA interface look to be shared with the X25-V. Intel builds the new X25-Ms out of 34-nm NAND flash, too.
The X25-V might be affordable enough for many users, but its 40GB capacity could prove tight in a modern PC. Microsoft itself calls for a minimum 16-20GB of space for Windows 7, and the rest is trivial to fill up with other applications and music. We're not seeing many higher-capacity alternatives in this price range, though. Kingston's V-Series SNV125-S2BN/64GB is a notable exception, offering a 64GB capacity, a lower rated read speed, and a higher rated write speed for $150 shipped. (Thanks to Expreview for the heads up.)