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Toshiba Offer Slimline Technology to All

David Gilbert


Toshiba Offer Slimline Technology to All

The smaller the better is the mantra of modern laptop/notebook/netbook manufacturers but it seems as if Apple won’t be the only company to benefit from new technology with will allow designers to slim down their already small devices.

Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are slowly but surely taking over from traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) in this area and Toshiba announced on its website today that it will be offering the module-based Blade X-gale SSDs - which appeared in the latest version of MacBook Air - to all manufacturers. No prices have been revealed so far.

Those on offer on the Toshiba website are the same as those found in the latest iteration of the MacBook Air: 64GB (single-side), 128GB (single-side), and 256GB (double-stacked). The SSDs offer maximum read speeds of 220 MB/sec and maximum write speeds of 180 MB/sec. While other manufacturers have attempted to replicate the slender lines of the Air - notably Samung, Sony and Acer - none have come close to reducing the size while maintaining performance. This could all change with the Blade X-gale SSDs.

In a statement on its site, Toshiba said the new drives are “ideally suited for integration into space-sensitive products, including mini-mobile and netbook PCs, and give product developers greater freedom and flexibility in product design.”

The blade-shaped drive is only 2.2mm thick which is 42 per cent thinner than the typical mSATA form factor. Toshiba go on to say they are planning on expanding the horizons of their NAND Flash technology in order to grow the market for such devices.

The devices are only on sale to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) so you won’t be able to call into your local Toshiba shop and upgrade your MacBook Air unfortunately.

Hopefully this will lead to some more laptop manufacturers attempting to design some easy-on-the-eye laptops that don’t weigh half a tonne and look about as pretty as the back end of an elephant.


November 8, 2010, 9:31 pm

These look a lot like RAM modules, which isn't all that surprising. I'm looking forward to further standardization, maybe in a year or two we'll have solid state slots alongside RAM slots on desktop mainboards. That is, if desktop mainboards still are widely available by that time.

David Gilbert

November 8, 2010, 11:01 pm

@morsch they do look a lot like RAM modules alright and I think whether or not the desktop mainboards are with us in a couple of years, SSDs like these will be industry standard across the board by then.


November 8, 2010, 11:51 pm

@morsch: It's possible, but there's no need for something this small in the average desktop PC, particularly when it isn't using the established standard SATA connectors. Modules like this are more likely to appear in the kind of machine that might also be equipped with SO-DIMM RAM. Laptops, SFF PCs, that kind of thing.

SSDs will be more common for sure, but the 5.25, 3.5 and 2.5 inch form factors have been with us for so long, I don't see that changing any time soon. Maybe in 10 years...

However, laptops are a different kettle of fish and these things are ideally suited. I'm hoping the majority of laptops will be fitted with similar devices in a couple years time.


November 9, 2010, 12:27 am

Cool tech for the Laptop market for sure. As prices come down maybe we won't care as much about losing so much storage space with the speed boost SSD's provide.

I think it was one of the editors at TR that said upgrading to an SSD was the single best upgrade they had ever made. I hope to be able to access that soon.

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