Last September we published a budget solid state drive round-up featuring eight drives priced at or below $150. Kingston's SSDNow V Series (SNV425-S2) was among the models tested, and at just $125 ($1.95 per gigabyte) the 64GB version was an exceptional value. Utilizing Toshiba's TC58NCF618GBT controller, the drive provided surprisingly impressive performance.

Kingston has since expanded their SSD range by adding the SSDNow V100 and SSDNow V+100 Series to the mix. They also released a portable 1.8" line called SSDNow V+180 designed for ultra-mobile devices, such as ultra-thin notebooks, netbooks and tablet PCs.

While the Kingston SSDNow V+180 Series was just recently released, solid state drives supporting the 1.8" form factor are nothing new. In fact, many products we've tested have 1.8" alternatives, including the OCZ Vertex 2, OCZ Onyx, Crucial RealSSD C300 and the Intel X25-M (X18-M).

Since the SSDNow V+180 Series is a spin-off of the original SSDNow V+ Series, it features the same Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller. As a result, the same sequential read/write throughput of 230MB/s and 180MB/s still applies, and it comes in the same 64GB, 128GB or 256GB capacities.

With such similarities, it's no surprise that the Kingston SSDNow V+180 (SVP180-S2) 64GB and the SSDNow V+ Series (SNVP325-S2) 64GB are priced identically at $165 -- though many manufacturers tend to charge a price premium for their 1.8" drives. For example, the 1.8" Onyx costs roughly $30 more, while the more compact Vertex 2 is fetching $100 more for the 64GB model.

Although we don't consider the 1.8" OCZ Vertex 2 a viable option, the Onyx certainly is. At around $25 cheaper than the 64GB Kingston SSDNow V+180 Series, we will be keeping a close eye on this match up, but before we jump into the benchmarks let's take a closer look at Kingston's new ultra-compact SSD.