While we’re lusting after this 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) just announced by Samsung, it's a frustrating piece of news. Why? Because the main piece of info, the price, is a secret. Adding to the want-fest is the blazing speed quoted by Samsung, with this 4-inch-long drive zipping through read times of 200MB per second, faster than most spinning hard disks. The company says this 2.5-inch drive will be available in mass quantities by the end of this year, with an even-smaller 1.8-incher on the way by then, too.
While SSDs have their profound advantages, that price problem puts a damper on our enthusiasm. To give you an idea of the out-of-reach cost of this upcoming drive, the first laptop packing an SSD drive with half that capacity, the 128GB Toshiba Dynabook SS RX1, costs $4000. By comparison, we saw a conventional 256GB portable drive at Best Buy yesterday for $89. So consider this Samsung SSD a peek into the future, when economies of scale might bring the price of these babies down to earth in a couple of years.