Toshiba will ship a 256GB solid-state drive for laptops next month, likely beating rival Samsung Electronics to market in their race to offer high-capacity drives.

Toshiba showed off a 2.5-inch version of the 256GB SSD at the Ceatec exhibition being held in Chiba, Japan. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed the drives will be commercially available, but pricing was not immediately available.

Based on multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory chips and designed for laptops, the 256GB SSD uses a 3Gbps SATA-2 interface. The drive can read up to 120M bytes of data per second and writes up to 70M bytes per second, Toshiba said.

With sales of the new drive scheduled to start in October, Toshiba may beat Samsung to market. Samsung is also readying a 256GB SSD based MLC flash chips. That drive is scheduled to be available before the end of this year, according to Samsung.