Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from the latest blisteringly-fast SSD hard drive to the new HP Envy notebook.

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Inspecting gadgets Kingston’s SSD Now V 40GB.
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By  Imthishan Giado Published  December 6, 2009 Arabian Computer News Logo
Speeding up your life

Storage – there’s really not a lot to say about the topic, is there? Despite the fact that it plays a crucial role in the modern enterprise, it’s safe to say that most people are hardly aware of its existence.

And in fairness, the value proposition for storage has not changed dramatically. What are you supposed to do when you run out of storage? Go buy some more. Transfer your old data over. Rinse and repeat.

But new developments are afoot in this long neglected space with the arrival of solid state drives or SSDs as they are more commonly known. These new devices are essentially giant USB sticks that fit into a 3.5” drive bay, substituting tiny slabs of RAM for spinning magnetic disks. Without moving parts, these next-generation hard drives generate little to no heat, are much more resistant to physical abuse and make virtually no noise at all.

Kingston’s SSD Now V 40GB drive is the latest product to emerge in this segment, after unlikely rival Intel has taken an early performance lead with its X25 series. It isn’t going to win any beauty contests – it is, after all, just a grey SATA drive – but it’s what inside that counts.

And the Kingston drive is packing some serious heat. Beyond the green-friendly aspects, the real selling point of SSDs is that they are orders of magnitude faster than even the swiftest consumer hard drives.  Read performance is scorching, leading to applications that open almost instantaneously, while write performance lags behind somewhat but is still very fast indeed.

At this point, one might wonder why SSDs haven’t killed off the humble hard drive altogether. And therein lies the rub – price. A SSD drive with just 40GB of storage will run you in the vicinity of $120, while that same amount will get you anywhere from 250GB to 500GB in a regular hard drive. 

That’s a frankly ridiculous figure, and it’s probably a very good reason why the drives have not replaced magnetic hard drives entirely. There’s also the little problem of reliability; everyone’s had the occasional dodgy USB flash drive, but what happens your OS is on it?

Nevertheless, we’re convinced that SSD drives are the future, and that eventually all storage will be this way. We just wish that the future would hurry up and get here sooner.

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