Review of the "MiniDrive Air" w/ photos

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AppleAdam, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. AppleAdam, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    AppleAdam

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    #1
    Bought this for $30 on Amazon. Was initially a bit worried about color/quality and lack of photos, so thought I would share. This is my first post - enjoy;
    (Edit: 4/10/13 - by popular demand here are more details :) )

    In summary, it works great, blends nicely with the aluminum chassis and shipped super quick. I ordered it on a Tuesday and got it Friday. Unlike the Kickstarter "NiftyDrive", "TheMiniDrive" from Amazon did not have issues (not being able to write to it, needing to put tape on it, having the face plate break off, etc.) The Mini Drive has worked great out of the box - i did have to pull it out and re-inset it to get it to read once, but it has worked flawlessly since.

    This is the website of the MiniDrive (different company then the kickstarter one): www.TheMiniDrive.com
    This is a link to the one I bought via Amazon: TheMiniDrive Air on Amazon


    [​IMG]

    The "unboxing"

    [​IMG]

    Outside of the packaging

    [​IMG]

    Wrapped around the MiniDrive is red wire. The wire is used to remove it after you insert it into the SD slot. It is bendy.

    [​IMG]

    Half-way stuck into the computer

    [​IMG]

    Fully stuck into the computer It is COMPLETELY flush.

    [​IMG]

    Another angle of it stuck into the computer. Again, it is completely flush and feels nice when you run your finger across it :)

    [​IMG]

    This is a side view with the red wire removed. It completely fills the gap of the slot.

    [​IMG]

    To remove it, you need to stick the wire back into the hole. This took some patients but I got it through the hole on the 3rd try. The trick is to bend the wire into a hook before you try to stick it into the hole.

    [​IMG]

    I got the 64gb Sandisk UHS1 card. I was a bit worried about speed, but it has not been an issue. I watch movies with out a problem and transferring files is pretty fast.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the one from this website: www.TheMiniDrive.com
     
  2. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #2
    Hmm, didn't they have problems with the first batch.

    Edit: Review, Photo's where????
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    Where is the review and where are the photos?
     
  4. AppleAdam, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    AppleAdam

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    #4
    Fixed

    Fixed.

    Edit: 4/10/13 - Fixed even more!
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #5
    What is fixed? The problems with the first batch or the photos? And there is still no review, unless the text you wrote counts as review for you.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #6
    Looks exactly like what I got except you got better packaging. The colored edge is a little darker than the silver on the MBA but it's close enough that it's not too noticeable at a glance.

    Worked as soon as I stuck it in and works just like any SD card. No issues reading or writing.
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #7
    Have you ever benchmarked the read and write speeds with this thing?
     
  8. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #8
    Good photo's but still no review.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    Nice photos. I just installed the same one. It is just a passive adapter, the performance depends entirely on the micro SD card you use with it (purchased separately). I used a SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card without issue. Read speeds are great, writes a bit slower than the internal SSD, but much faster than a external USB SSD. I have not run benchmarks, but there are quite a few reviews out there.

    Physically it does fit flush but the plastic is not quite the same color or have the smooth finish as the MBA case. It could be a better match, but not as bad as some other attempts.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #10

    I have ran tests through blackmagic and I get about 10 write and 35 read. I only store my itunes music on it so its fine for what I need it for.

    I use the SanDisk 64gb ultra mini sd card.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #11
    I believe the internal slot is also connected to the USB bus. So (all things being equal), why would it be "much faster than an external SSD"? For example, if you placed that same SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC Class 10 card in an *external* USB reader, wouldn't the performance be exactly the same? :confused:
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #12
    The internal SD card reader is on the much faster PCI bus, not a USB kludge.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    TX, USA
    #13

    Thanks for the pictures- I literally have not yet seen what the actual Minidrive Air looks like inside the Air! Can't believe they sell it as a separate product yet don't even have a picture on their website or Amazon of the adapter in the computer. I'm glad it blends nicely with the computer, it looks very stock.

    On a side note, does anyone know if the Minidrive Air will fit into a rMBP 15'' ? As you can see in my signature, I own both of these machines, but I don't really want to spend $30 on a small piece of plastic unless I'll be able to use it with both machines. Appreciate the help! And thanks AppleAdam for the pics!
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #14
    What do you base that assertion on? I have a late 2011 MacBook Air, and I just checked this to confirm. The reader is on the USB bus. Perhaps they changed this on the 2012 models? It's easy enough to check for yourself...

    So again, I don't see what the advantage is to using the internal slot - aside from convenience. The same card in an external reader should give the same performance.... shouldn't it?
     

    Attached Files:

  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    #15
    I've read a lot of reports, in Amazon reviews, about problems when reformating the SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC. So I want to ask if you did reformatted for MacOs Extended filesystem, or used it on default ExFat format.

    Thanks in advance...
    Edson
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #16
    Apple support says:

    "Macs that use the USB bus to communicate with the SD card slot have a maximum speed of up to 480 Mbit/s. Newer Macs use the PCIe bus to communicate with the SD card slot and can transfer data at a much faster rate."

    However Anandtech says: "Max performance of the MBA reader appears to be capped at 40MB/s" The MBP was shown to have a 80MB/s rate.

    I think the MBA may not have been updated yet. Don't have the MBA handy but this is what a rMBP shows:
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Boyd01, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #17
    Well we're in the MBA forum here. ;) Maybe someone with a 2012 MBA can check this?

    When I first got my MBA I was excited over the prospect of the card slot. So I tried a 16GB 10x card and it took forever to copy some big files to it. I didn't benchmark it, but it sure wasn't anything like I would expect from a fast hard disk. After that, I never bothered with the slot again.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #18
    You can use it but it wont sit flush as in the MBA. They have a rMBP specific model on Amazon
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Seamaster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #19
    This is what my 2013 MBA reports:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #20
    Thanks - that's an "upgrade" that I had not read about anywhere before, good to know. :)

    Is there actually such a thing as a 2013 MBA yet? I got mine in Feb 2012, but it's a 2011 model and the 2012 models came later in the year.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #21
    at 10 mbs that is worthless for any real usage. yea maybe music would be tolerable but anything else would really suck to use. this is one of those add ons where you put up with waiting 7 hours to load the data on it and never move the data again.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #22
    That was Nifty's Minidrive that had problems with the first batch - this is "The MiniDrive" - different company with a clone product, as far as I can tell
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Seamaster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #23
    Be cautious of ordering one of these from Nifty. The discussion on their Kickstarter page suggests they've done a runner.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    #24
    I have to take a look at this because I was planning on buying one of these too. Do you have a link to the discussions? I'd like to check it out.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    ctdonath

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #25
    Units? Presumably megasomethings/sec, but bits or bytes?
     

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