In the past few months, Dell may have been spending a lot of time prettying the externals of its laptops, with the launch of its Design Studio and the unveiling of its thin Adamo, but today the company is making sure its customers know that what is on the inside still matters. Today the company is the first to offer Samsung's 256GB SSD as an option on its XPS M1330 and M1730 laptops. According to a Samsung rep we spoke with at CES last week, the company's 256GB MLC-based drive is even faster than its 128 and 64GB models, purportedly offering performance on-par with or better than Intel's industry leading X25-M SSD. Shockingly, Dell is only charging a $400 premium for the drive and has lowered the premium for the 128GB Samsung SSD to a mere $200! At those prices, and with Samsung's excellent performance, there's no reason not to get SSD on the laptops for which it is an option. A search around the Internet found Lenovo charging a $450-$500 premium for 64GB and a $750 premium for 128GB Samsung SSDs on its ThinkPad T series and X200 lines. Samsung does not market its drives to consumers and we were unable to find a components retailer selling even an OEM version of the 128GB or 256GB Samsung drives. The closest we could come was finding a 32GB Samsung unit for $249 at newegg.com. We have no idea how Dell is able to offer this kind of pricing. For those who need storage capacity more than performance, Dell has also added a Seagate 500GB 7,200RPM hard drive option which contains a free fall sensor for a low $150 premium. But unless you're turning your notebook into a media server, we highly recommend the incredible performance of the 256GB Samsung SSD. We have requested a review unit from Samsung so we can see how this drive benchmarks, but if its performance is anything like Samsung claims or even on-par with the 64GB Samsung MLC we benchmarked recently, it will make the XPS M1330 and M1730 some of the fastest notebooks on the market.
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