Full-disk encryption can refer to software or hardware encryption, whereas self-encrypted hard drives are just hardware encryption. Microsoft coined the term full-disk encryption, but that term became confused with the encryption done by software like Bitlocker. Initially there was a premium, but at this point there's little to no premium for buying one. Every drive maker makes self-encrypting drives.
In a few years, predicts Thibadeau, you'll be buying a self-encrypting drive and you won't even realize it-because it will be so pervasive. "The encryption just works, it doesn't impact you."
Samsung just introduced at CES it's a 256-bit self-encrypted series of USB 3.0 hard drives. The drives include three new external drives, in 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB. The drives come with Samsung's auto-backup software, and Samsung SecretZone for creating a secure virtual drive, and SafetyKey for setting up passwords and encrypted data backup. The drives are due in April; prices to be announced.
Check out our complete coverage of CES 2011.