SSD hard drives are here. Hugh John tries out a useful add-on drive from Kingston
Kingston believes its SSD (Solid State Disk) options for PC and laptop – previewed at David Fanning's Digital Winter PR event – are the single most cost effective way to improve performance and life expectancy.
The SSDNOW 128 GB upgrade, part hardware and part software, requires replacing the existing hard drive with the SSD. Fit the original drive into the supplied caddy and then transfer the operating system and key applications using the bundled cloning software.
The accompanying videos makes the whole process look a snip but don't they all? If you're the sort of person who can transform an IKEA flat pack bookcase into an armchair and still have a handful of screws and two shelves left over you might want to knock on the school technician's door with a box of chocolates, the SSDNOW kit and a hopeful smile.
SSD looks set to be the future of disk technology – Apple has already introduced SSDs into its Macbook Air range – and with good reason. With no moving parts to crash, overheat or fail, SSDs are more durable, faster and, says Kingston, use up to 70 per cent less energy, boosting performance, speed and efficiency. Boot-up times are considerably faster.
Kingston calls it the "single most cost-effective upgrade you can make" and suggests that you use the SSD for the operating system and processor-intensive software – video editing, for example – and use the relegated hard disk for data storage.
It's a persuasive argument, especially for those who've recently bought new desktops or laptops and want to give their machines a bit more ooomph for a lot less money than they'd lay out on purchasing a new computer.
Ratings (out of five)
Fitness for Purpose 5
Ease of Use 4
Value for Money 4
Kingston SSDNOW V+ Series 128 Gb Performance Upgrade Kit
Flash drive, caddy, connectors and cloning software, £170 from online suppliers