Toshiba SSD Opens Door to MacBook Air Alternatives
By Jared Newman
PCWorldNov 8, 2010 8:25 am PST
The MacBook Air’s most slimming component isn’t unique anymore.
On Monday, Toshiba announced a supposedly new product, the Blade X-gale solid state drive series. Toshiba won’t admit that this is the same ultra-thin SSD that appears in Apple’s MacBook Air, but as MacRumors notes, both drives have the same model numbers and storage capacities.
The Blade X-gale series comes in capacities of 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. The smaller two sizes measure 2.2 mm, which Toshiba claims is 42 percent thinner than a typical mSATA SSD. The largest capacity drive measures 3.7 mm. All three have maximum read speeds of 220 MB per second and write speeds of 180 MB per second.
In a MacBook Air teardown, iFixit said the SSD was a major contributor to the computer’s slim profile, and called it a custom part. That’s no longer the case. Stll, the Blade X-gale series is only being sold to device makers; users who want more capacity will have to seek alternatives, like Photofast’s upgrade kit.
Toshiba says the Blade X-gale SSDs are ideal for tablets as well as ultra-thin PCs, but given the large capacity — and, I’m guessing, big price — of these modules, I doubt we’ll see these drives in tablets any time soon. More likely, PC makers will use Blade X-gale SSDs to create MacBook Air alternatives running Windows.