Toshiba Introduces MacBook Air 'Blade-Type' SSDs to Mass Market

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Toshiba announced today the introduction of a "new form factor" in high capacity solid-state storage called the "Blade X-gale" series. MacRumors readers will recognize the small SSD sticks as the same product that is used in Apple's new MacBook Air. Toshiba supplies these parts to Apple and is now offering the product to the mass market.
Available now, the new drives are offered in capacities of 64-gigabyte (GB) (1), 128GB and 256GB, with a maximum sequential read speed of 220MB per second (MB/s) (2) and a maximum sequential write speed of 180MB/s. Ideally suited for integration into space-sensitive products, including tablet PCs, laptops, mini-mobile and netbook PCs, Toshiba's latest SSD offering helps these devices achieve a super slim profile.
Toshiba's SSDs come in the same three sizes that Apple presently offers (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB) and even shares the same part numbers indicating that these are the exact same product. This is good news for potential MacBook Air customers as it offers a potential upgrade path for the MacBook Air's SSD drive which only comes in specific combinations from Apple. For example, the 256GB SSD is not available in the 11" MacBook Air. We should note that we haven't yet been able to confirm that the 256GB part will actually fit into the 11" MacBook Air, as the 256GB part is slightly thicker than the 64GB and 128GB parts (3.7mm vs 2.2mm).

Another company has already announced their own replacement SSD part for the MacBook Air, and Toshiba's offerings should guarantee a healthy aftermarket for the part. No pricing has been announced for devices.

Article Link: Toshiba Introduces MacBook Air 'Blade-Type' SSDs to Mass Market
 

hglk

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I don't think the larger capacity drive will fit in the 11" model... Steve would have thrown that in as an option... Just my opinion
 

Brinkman

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I would not mind these going in the next MacBook Pro's as long as they replace the missing space with more batteries :)
 

Gen

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I don't think the larger capacity drive will fit in the 11" model... Steve would have thrown that in as an option... Just my opinion
It's the same size, they're just adding more on the back side to get the 256Gb'
 

CFreymarc

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Just a matter of time before the next round of Netbooks start using these. Netbooks are not dead, they just got compromised a bit with iPad sales.
 

beebler

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So is the maximum capacity still 256GB? Can't go any higher with these?
 

solipsism

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Wishful thinking on my part, but I hope we see this across the board for next round of MBPs, with the ODD removed and an option for a HDD as a 2nd drive, even if it’s only a 9.5mm drive (12.5mm currently fit). That would give the fast boot, instant on from standby, and excessive storage option. Would be enough room for even more footprint space for the battery, ports on the right side, and a dGPU in the 13” [which assumes the move to Core-ix].


It's the same size, they're just adding more on the back side to get the 256Gb'
Did you read the article? They are 3.7mm v. 2.2m thick, hence not the same size.
 

skottichan

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In the case of the 13" Pro I would like to see them use the extra space for a discreet video card and a core i5/i7 cpu.
I second this.


I have to agree with most. I'm looking forward to things like this as the standard. I'm curious tho, on the larger MB/MBP, you would be able to raid two of these wouldn't you? There would be plenty of room for two connectors.
 

solipsism

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Well anyone can use it now right?
Yeah! As Apple obviously planned otherwise they would have made the connector proprietary. Sometimes, it’s better for business to make a something open or to use items that are not likely patentable, like this SSD style.

So you’re probably wondering how Apple benefit. One possible option is if others start using these cards then their costs would come down do to economy of scale.
 

KandyKane

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Mar 23, 2009
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Wow... only 1.5mm difference between the 64/128 and the 256 and it wont fit in the 11"?
Can't really tell in the ifixit tear down, but the SSD looks slightly recessed? Or does it need room to breathe?
 

MattInOz

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Well anyone can use it now right?
They can but it'll take them 3-6months.

Higher demand will open competition giving Apple a greater range of manufactures to choose from with either higher capacities or lower prices.

Apple may have taken a punt on lower margin knowing by the end of product cycle they will getting higher margins as competition brings costs down.
 

cantaffordamac

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Nov 7, 2010
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some one should test get a 13 inch ripout the 256gb and throw it in a 11inch that take some cash but i would love to know if it would work
 

butterfly0fdoom

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Well anyone can use it now right?
Increased adoption will help drive down prices and increase availability of third-party options. It also makes Apple's vision for the future of notebooks a lot more feasible as a larger market of blade-type SSDs means less backlash if Apple decides to implement this in their other notebooks down the road.

Also, if other companies start adopting blade-type SSDs, it would add another mark to the "Apple's proprietary stuff isn't so proprietary" tally, considering Toshiba, HP, and Dell have all adopted mDP (Toshiba uses mDP in the place of HDMI, while HP and Dell use mDP in the place of VGA).

I would not mind these going in the next MacBook Pro's as long as they replace the missing space with more batteries :)
And, for the 13" computers, space for a third chip so Apple can stop using Core 2 Duo processors in non-Air laptops.
 
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sammich

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Sep 26, 2006
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Sarcasmville.
I wonder if they'll start making these things into RAID trays. Since it's so thin, and not so wide, you could replace your HDD bay with 4 of these 'blades' in RAID 0.

Wow... only 1.5mm difference between the 64/128 and the 256 and it wont fit in the 11"?
Thickness is relative, that's 68% thicker over the smaller capacities, and almost 10% of the thickness of the whole laptop.
 

nagromme

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May 2, 2002
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One of those changes that seems obvious in hindsight. Goodbye bulky drives!

Well anyone can use it now right?
Yes, like mini-DisplayPort, FaceTime, WebKit, Bonjour, QuickTime, etc.... Apple and Apple users often benefit from Apple-first technologies becoming widespread.

I also like the idea of putting spare/leftover internal flash drives into external USB sticks. No waste!
 

barkmonster

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Wishful thinking on my part, but I hope we see this across the board for next round of MBPs, with the ODD removed and an option for a HDD as a 2nd drive, even if it’s only a 9.5mm drive (12.5mm currently fit). That would give the fast boot, instant on from standby, and excessive storage option. Would be enough room for even more footprint space for the battery, ports on the right side, and a dGPU in the 13” [which assumes the move to Core-ix].




Did you read the article? They are 3.7mm v. 2.2m thick, hence not the same size.
That would be an ideal setup. Fast SSD for booting and application launching that would also speed up virtual memory with it's 1000s of I/Os and a second drive for data storage.
 
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