Samsung has long been a leader in the SSD upgrade market, with its 830 series drive winning our Fall 2011 SSD showdown. Now, the technology giant is back with two sequels, the 840 Series and higher-end 840 Pro Series, both of which promise faster speeds and lower power consumption.

Available in 120, 250 and 500GB capacities, the 840 Series features Samsung's unique 3-core MDX Controller, running at 300 MHz. The 2.5-inch, 7mm thick  drive will cost between $109.99, $199 and $549.99 as a bare drive, but will also be available bundled with an upgrade kit for $20 more than each of these prices. The kit will include a bracket for installing the drive in desktop PCs and wires for transferring data from a notebook, along with Samsung's drive cloning software.

The high-end 840 Pro Series will  be available in 64, 128, 256 and 512GB for prices of $99, $149, $269 and $699 respectively. Unlike its less-expensive sibling, the 840 Pro Series will not be available with an upgrade kit, but it will come in the same 2.5-inch, 7mm thick form factor.

The Pro promises sequential read rates of 540 MBps and write rates of 450 MBps with a random read IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) of 100,000 and random write IOPS of 78,000. These numbers compare favorably to the 520 / 400 MBps transfer rates and 80,000 / 36,000 IOPS on the previous-generation Samsung 830 Series.

Better still, the 840 Pro Series is rated at just .068 watts of active power use and .042 watts of idle power use as compared to .24 watts / .14 watts on the 830 Series. Samsung told us to expect significant battery life gains on notebooks because of the increased power efficiency.

We have a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro Series drive in our lab now and will be posting a full review after we've had the chance to test it thoroughly.