Toshiba Introduces Blade X-Gale Slim SSD - InformationWeek

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Toshiba Introduces Blade X-Gale Slim SSD

The MacBook Air appears to use the same "space sensitive" solid-state drive and the 64GB version has an identical model number.

MacBook Air
(click image for larger view)
MacBook Air

Toshiba has made generally available what appears to be the same solid-state drive used in Apple's latest MacBook Air.

Toshiba introduced on Sunday a solid-state drive built specifically for "space-sensitive products," such as tablet computers and mini-laptops. Called the Blade X-gale, the new SSD is less than a tenth of an inch thick or 42% thinner that the typical mSATA SSD used in portable computers.

While the thickness of the Blade X-gale certainly makes it a potential part of in the MacBook Air, the new SSD is also available in the same capacities as what's available in the Air, 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB. In addition, and most importantly, the model number of the 64 GB version, THNSNC064GMDJ, is the same as the Toshiba SSD iFixit found in its recent teardown analysis of the 11.6-inch Air.

Toshiba declined to comment for this story.

Apple introduced the 11.6-inch Air, its smallest and thinnest today, last month, along with a refresh of the 13.6-inch version that has been available for a while. While smaller Air is lighter, both have aluminum unibody designs that are 0.68 of an inch at the thickest point, tapering down to 0.11 of an inch. Neither system comes with a hard disk drive, only SSDs.

The Blade X-gale, Toshiba's thinnest SSD to date, has a maximum read speed of 220 MB per second and a maximum write speed of 180 MB per second. The 64 GB and 128 GB models weigh 0.35 of an ounce, while 256 GB version weighs 0.47 of an ounce. The device's mean time to failure is 1 million hours.

The Blade X-gale is available as of this week to computer makers. Pricing was not disclosed. The SSD in the Air is not listed as a user-replaceable part, so its unlikely Toshiba would offer it to Air users looking to upgrade the SSD in the system.

SSDs are used in ultra-portable PCs because they are lighter and thinner and use less power than traditional hard disk drives. They are also much faster, which improves system performance. However, SSDs are also much more expensive and are available with less capacity than HDDs.


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