Even though it has been available for a while at certain online retailers, Intel today officially announced the 40GB X25-V solid-state drive, a cut-down version of its X25-M model that will sell for a mere $125. The new drive is being marketed as an "entry-level" option for use in netbooks or dual-drive desktop PCs, where it would serve as a boot drive to offer users faster boot times and faster access to key applications.

The X25-V features 40GB of 34nm MLC NAND flash memory and support for Windows 7's TRIM function via the Intel SSD Optimizer. Windows XP and Vista users can also retain the out-of-box performance of this drive with the included SSD Toolbox. Unfortunately unlike its bigger siblings, which boasts sequential read speeds of 250MB/s and write rates of up to 100MB/s, the X25-V is limited to 170MB/s for reads and just 35MB/s for writes.

The 80GB X25-M drive can be had for around $230, so while the price of the X25-V is indeed easier to swallow, the cost per gigabyte is actually higher and you forfeit a great deal of performance.

Perhaps not so coincidentally Intel's announcement comes hot on the heels of rival vendor OCZ's Onyx SSD launch. That drive will give you 32GB of storage capacity along with read and write speeds of 125MB/s and 70MB/s, respectively -- all for a still unspecified sub-$100 price.