For many years SSD drives were prohibitively expensive and had a far lower capacity than hard drives so I had little desire to get one for my mobile computing equipment. But in 2012, SSDs finally reached a price level that made me change my mind. At the moment, a 500 GB Samsung SSD is available for around 300 euros so I finally decided to buy one.
While I expected a dramatic improvement in OS boot and program startup times I was nevertheless still surprised when I finally experienced it myself. Installing a full Ubuntu on it in less than 15 minutes was breathtaking. After I've put a 1:1 copy of my hard drive on the SSD with Clonezilla I could again hardly believe it was still the same PC. The OS boots much faster, programs open almost instantly and a full Windows 7 in a virtual machine boots in 25 seconds to the desktop with disk activity ceasing. And all of this with an entry level Intel i3 processor. I found some reports on the net that SDDs are more power hungry than hard drives but I can't confirm that with my notebook, I still get around 4.5 hours out of the battery.
As it's likely that SSD prices will fall further over time I don't think it will take long now before hard drives are replaced by SSDs not only in high end PCs and notebooks but also in in the medium range, i.e. the 600-800 euro range. After my recent experiences one thing is fore sure: I'll never have a personal PC without an SSD anymore, the difference is just so significant. Which makes the fan the last mechanical part in a notebook. But perhaps that will also be taken care of soon with fanless Ultrabooks being talked about for some years now.
And here's the review of the drive I bought over at Anandtech.