Toshiba announces MacBook Air solid state drives available for sale

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Toshiba this week announced that its Blade X-gale SSD series -- the same product first introduced in the new MacBook Air -- is now available for mass market sales, potentially bringing up to 256GB of storage to devices like tablets and laptops, and allowing Apple users easier upgrades.



As noted by MacRumors, Toshiba's part numbers are exactly the same as the components found inside the MacBook Air. The internal solid state drives also come in the same three capacities: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.



The components offer a maximum sequential read speed of 220MB per second, and a maximum sequential write speed of 180MB per second. The 64GB and 128GB Blade X-gale SSDs have a thickness of just 2.2mm, while the 256GB capacity is slightly thicker.



"Delivering a product that enables superior user experience in a smaller footprint is the ultimate goal," noted Scott Nelson, vice president, Memory Business Unit, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. "The density of MLC NAND enables the creation of smaller form factor high density storage solutions, and Toshiba, as the technology leader for NAND storage solutions, will continue to innovate in this space."



The drives are available for sale to device manufacturers and bulk purchasers, meaning individual users will not be able to buy one direct from Toshiba.



Apple's newly redesigned MacBook Air comes with screen sizes of 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The smaller model can have up to 128GB of SSD storage, while the larger 13.3-inch MacBook Air can hold 256GB.



The availability of Toshiba's "blade-type SSD modules" to resellers and other component makers means users who need to replace or upgrade the solid state drive in their MacBook Air will have an easier time finding replacement parts.



The solid state drives allow the new MacBook Air models to offer instant-on capabilities when returning from sleep. The hardware on the 13-inch model is said to be comparable in terms of performance to Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro, thanks to the speedy SSD found in the MacBook Air.



The thin and light profile and instant-on capabilities of Apple's new MacBook Air models have earned praise for making the notebooks similar to the popular iPad. It is expected that many of the same features, including standard solid state drives, will be extended to new MacBooks in the future as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    Hopefully this means that solid state drives will replace their failure prone counterparts sooner rather than later in the average mid range notebook.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    BB_Sting, I'd say Apple's trying to push that line right here, and seem to have teamed up with Toshiba to produce the drives required to pull it off.



    This isn't just good for the MacBook Air, or even all Apple notebooks. Its good for notebooks in general.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PG4G View Post


    This isn't just good for the MacBook Air, or even all Apple notebooks. Its good for notebooks in general.



    To save money, I suppose one can have 2 drives in a notebook: (1) a SS drive with only 32 GB would be rather cheap and critical stuff should be stored there; (2) a spinning drive to store massive data.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    tjwtjw Posts: 216member
    Excellent, some good tech to produce some thin notebooks meaning everyone that wants something fast and light doesn't have to go visit the fruit shop.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    (2) 1TB drives would be sexy
  • Reply 6 of 43
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,591member
    I wonder if the X-gale will make it's way into 2.5" HDD enclosures. Seems like 1TB of affordable storage is almost here.



    I just purchased a 240 GB 2.5" drive last night from OWC to put in my MBP 13" (latest model). It really touched the wallet to make the move but I am hoping for a nice return on responsiveness.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    I want to see this in the next entry-level MacBook, maybe drop the optical drive too.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    I'm talking (2) 1TB SSD drives. Already have a few 1TB 3.5 disks. 3.5 and 2.5 are pretty much the same to me (when comparing to SSD).
  • Reply 9 of 43
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Why can't they stack these together and be announcing SSD drives with TB-type sizing?



    These are basically just the same tech as in a thumb drive right? What exactly is the innovation here?



    Stick them together and get rid of the optical drives for good.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    This is great news. I would be a lot more likely to buy the 11" MBA if I could get a larger hard drive than the BTO options that Apple sells online.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benice View Post


    Why can't they stack these together and be announcing SSD drives with TB-type sizing?



    These are basically just the same tech as in a thumb drive right? What exactly is the innovation here?



    Stick them together and get rid of the optical drives for good.



    How much money do you have? Obviously more than me!
  • Reply 12 of 43
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    How much money do you have? Obviously more than me!



    Give it 2 years and we'll start seeing these drives available in larger formats, and more affordable. My guess is that in 3 years, you'll see 1TB SSD drives for a premium, still, but not so much so that you'll break the bank.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member
    i bought a Crucial M225 for my MBP 13" model and I cannot believe how fast it is. imho, 256 GB for $380 seems very reasonable.



    MBP $1100, SSD drive $380, total = $1480



    my Air with a smaller cpu and less memory is slower and cost $1550.....



    anyone looking for a used MBA?
  • Reply 14 of 43
    ktappektappe Posts: 770member
    I know the article said these are only for sale in bulk to resellers, but it'd still be nice to get a ballpark idea of what they'll eventually cost end users. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
  • Reply 15 of 43
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    Give it 2 years and we'll start seeing these drives available in larger formats, and more affordable. My guess is that in 3 years, you'll see 1TB SSD drives for a premium, still, but not so much so that you'll break the bank.



    Oh, I agree 100%! But for now, they are still priced out of my budget.



    Here is a 2.5" form-factor OCZ Vertex 2 SSD -- still not shipping yet, OBTW -- for £1,330.92/US$2,150 (or £1,132.70/US$1,830 excluding VAT): OCZ 480GB Vertex 2E SSD - Solid State Drive



    I think we'll be waiting a while (and we'll be wishing for 5TB drives by then! )
  • Reply 16 of 43
    So the 256GB is thicker. It must be double-sided. That presumably answers the question of why it wasn't offered as an option on the 11"
  • Reply 17 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    I think we'll be waiting a while (and we'll be wishing for 5TB drives by then! )



    That?s the problem with the ever sliding ?If only they were?? requests.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    But Apple said the MacBook Air didn't use an SSD!
  • Reply 19 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    As noted elsewhere, RunCore has been selling these mini-PCIe card SSDs for netbooks for a couple years. The difference is they are shorter and are pretty cheap for use in netbooks.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheGreatBug View Post


    But Apple said the MacBook Air didn't use an SSD!



    Is that what Apple said? If, so did you really think Apple meant that Flash-based storage card isn’t a solid state drive/device? It seems to me that any such statement would be to differentiate it from the SSDs that are designed to mimic the look of a HDD



    If I remember correctly, Jobs during the keynote, called it "solid state storage" and specifically stated that the SSD container was removed, with statements about it being smaller and 90%(?) lighter. I don’t recall any implication that you can’t call it an SSD if it doesn’t copy the form factor of a HDD.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    (2) 1TB drives would be sexy



    1 PB would be sexy.







    By the way, no information about Sustained Write Speed? It is often 2 times slower than the maximum speed.
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