OCZ Technology has announced its first solid-state drive to hit the market below the magic $100 price point - the Onyx.

While the Onyx - a 2.5" SATA II SSD - only offers a somewhat cramped 32GB of storage space, it could be a tempting purchase for those looking to speed up a boot drive or make their ultraportable laptop a bit more robust.

The company claims that while storage space has been trimmed, performance has been kept as high as possible - and while it's unlikely to challenge any of the market leading devices, a read speed of 125MB/s and a 70MB/s write speed certainly isn't anything to complain about. A generous 64MB of on-board cache helps to keep things ticking along, too.

The company's chief executive officer Ryan Petersen claims that the Onyx series - which is expected to grow to encompass larger sizes in the future - "delivers the speed and reliability of solid state storage to mainstream consumers at an aggressive price point that makes the technology more accessible to customers who want to take advantage of all the benefits of the SSDs without incurring the high cost normally associated with the solution."

OCZ is pretty confident about the long-term benefits of its budget SSD, too: offering a three-year warranty, the company claims that the Onyx series features "unique performance optimisation to keep the drives at peak performance over the long term" - although it's a trifle cagey with the details of exactly what 'optimisation' it means.

The 32GB Onyx is available to retailers immediately, so expect it to crop up on your favourite hardware sites pretty sharpish.

Can you think of a use for a 'budget' SSD, or is the Onyx still too expensive for a mere 32GB of storage? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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