Toshiba SSD opens door to MacBook Air alternatives

Release of skinny Blade X-gale solid state drives from Toshiba could slim down more notebooks.
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 09 November, 2010 03:33

The MacBook Air's most slimming component isn't so 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.

At least, they will in theory. PC makers already chased Apple into this territory before, and it didn't really work out. Dell's Adamo, a pricey but underpowered laptop with an emphasis on design, is no longer available through the company. Sony's Vaio X is still available, but it didn't win over PC World in testing. Expect other companies to be more cautious about competing with the MacBook Air, perhaps waiting to see whether Apple's machine takes off.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Topics: SSD, Apple, Drives, storage, hardware systems, ultraportable laptop, laptops, toshiba
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?