Low-capacity, low-cost solid-state drived seem to be multiplying. After the retail appearance of Intel's 40GB X25-V last week, we now see Kingston plans to introduce an even cheaper 30GB drive next month.
Kingston calls its new baby the SSDNow V Series 30GB Boot Drive, and as you might guess, the firm is marketing it as a solution for storing one's operating system and "key applications" only. Users are expected to keep their other apps and documents on an auxiliary mechanical hard drive. Again, Microsoft requires a minimum 16-20GB of capacity for Windows 7, so you'll really need to pick and choose what you want on the SSD.
What about performance? The 30GB SSDNow V Series can purportedly reach top sequential speeds of 180MB/s when reading and 50MB/s when writing, and Kingston has implemented TRIM support, so transfer rates shouldn't drop too much over time. Those numbers are a little higher than what Intel quotes for the $130 X25-V (170MB/s read, 35MB/s write), especially on the write front, but even a 50MB/s write speed isn't going to make any mechanical drives jealous.
Rather, the 30GB SSDNow V Series' appeal comes largely from its price. Kingston quotes a $109.99 MSRP, but it says U.S. customers will be able to nab the drive for $79.99 "after rebates" when it hits stores next month. Two other packages containing the same drive will be available, as well. One will include cloning software, mounting brackets, and Serial ATA cables, just like the Intel-based kit we reviewed last year. These extras will hike the price up to $124.99.
Kingston also intends to offer a two-drive package for "performance-minded enthusiasts" looking to build a RAID setup. A RAID-0 config with two of these drives would deliver 60GB of capacity and likely a performance boost, too. The company hasn't set a price for that offering yet, but it says the box will also contain "two sets of mounting brackets and data and power cables." (Thanks to Engadget for the tip.)