Toshiba To Sell Macbook Air SSD Separately

Users longing for ultra-slim solid state drives (SSDs) won't have to buy the new MacBook Air -- Toshiba has announced that its Blade X-gale SSD series will soon be available outside of Apple hardware.

The Blade X-gale SSDs, as the name would suggest, are ultra-thin, blade-shaped drives that feature capacities of 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB designed specifically for "space-sensitive products" such as the MacBook Air. And while the Blade X-gale SSD is a major selling point for Apple's new laptop, the drives will soon be available in netbook PCs, mini-mobile PCs and other form factors, according to Toshiba.

"Until recently, storage designers looking for high capacity storage had accommodated the size of HDD into their designs," said Scott Nelson, vice president Toshiba America's Memory Business Unit, in a press statement. "Up to this point, SSD designs also followed the basic design of small form factor HDD - which does not fully leverage the capabilities of high density NAND technology. Toshiba's module-based SSDs break with this approach, giving hardware designers greater freedom and flexibility in enabling their product design."

The Blade X-gale SSDs boast a maximum sequential read speed of 220 MBps and a maximum sequential write speed of 180 MBps. According to Toshiba, the 64-GB and 128-GB SSDs are the company's thinnest drives available with a thickness of 2.2 mm, which is more than 40 percent thinner than a typical mSATA SSD.

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While Toshiba announced the Blade X-gale SSDs are available now, the company did not specify which potential OEM partners besides Apple will be selling the new drives.