Desktop-grade performance in a tablet-friendly form factor
Remeber Plextor? The company built a reputation for itself during the era of optical drives, and as times have changed, so has Plextor's product lines. Plextor still builds optical drives, but its newest product is the M6M, a performance oriented mSATA solid state drive (SSD) that promises desktop-class performance in a smaller package suitable for NUC-style PCs, thin laptops, and tablets.
Newest NUC boasts support for a single 2.5-inch drive
Intel has its eye on the mini PC market with the introduction of its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) systems, though a limitation of early run versions is that they all used mSATA solid state drives. That in itself isn't a deal killer (though mSATA may not be long for this world), but what did cause problems is having the Wi-Fi card plopped right on top of the mSATA SSD. There were several reports of Wi-Fi issues with first run models (which is something we observed ourselves), possibly as a result of overheating, but with the newest NUC kit, Intel added a 2.5-inch drive bay.
Ultrabooks and laptops in general aren't getting any chunkier these days, and to accommodate increasingly thin profiles, mSATA form factor solid state drives (SSDs) are taking the place of 2.5-inch drives. That doesn't mean you'll need to give up storage space. Samsung today launched its 840 Evo mSATA SSD line, among which is the industry's first 1TB mSATA-based SSD, the company claims.
Intel today announced the launch of a new mSATA solid-state drive. Based on 25nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, the Intel Solid-State Drive 525, as the new drive is called, is the Santa Clara-based chipmaker’s very first 6Gb/s mSATA offering.
Faster mSATA SSDs could lead to upgradeable tablets.
You probably haven't given much thought to upgrading your tablet PC's built-in storage, primarily because your hands are tied. If you need more storage, you can buy a microSD card (if your tablet supports it), use an external USB storage device (again, if your tablet supports it), or tap into the cloud. But what if you could swap out the built-in SSD for a faster, more capacious model? That's wishful thinking at the moment, but if companies like Super Talent keep releasing performance-oriented mSATA drives, perhaps tablet makers will take notice.
Plextor's M5M SSD is one-eighth the size of a standard 2.5-inch drive.
It's been a long, long time since Plextor's bread and butter was high-quality optical drives. It's perhaps a little bit ironic that Plextor's newest product is intended for Ultrabooks, a form factor that largely shuns optical drives (only a handful of Ultrabook models ship with a CD/DVD or Blu-ray drive). Plextor finds itself focused on solid state drives (SSDs) these days, and the company's new M5M mSATA Series drives are intended to give Ultrabook owners some upgrade options.
Mushkin's Atlas 480GB mSATA SSD is small in size but big in capacity.
Mushkin will start shipping what it claims is the world's first 480GB capacity mSATA solid state drive (SSD) in January 2013, the company announced this week. Unlike traditional SSDs, mSATA (Mini-SATA) drives are much smaller and sport a connector that looks similar to a PCI Express Mini Card interface that's even electrically compatible, though the data signals need to be fed to the SATA host controller.
With PC vendors focusing on Ultrabooks these days, the market for cache SSDs is expected to explode in the near future. Joining the cache SSD fray is the Crucial m4 mSATA SSD. Actually, it can not only serve as a cache SSD, but can also be used as a primary storage solution.
As far as Adata is concerned, an influx of motherboards sporting built-in mSATA slots is going to create a demand for mSATA solid state drives (SSDs). The idea behind mSATA SSDs is to provide a fast cache solution to aid the primary storage device, typically a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD), to achieve system performance comparable to running a standalone SSD at a fraction of the cost. Towards that end, Adata today announced the launch of its XPG SX300 and Premier Pro SP300 mSATA SSDs.
Peel open an ultra-slim notebook, Ultrabook, or tablet PC and you might discover an mSATA solid state drive (SSD) tucked inside. These compact drives are much smaller than a regular 2.5-inch SSD, and should you retire your ultra-slim down the line, or otherwise run across an mSATA drive, your options for plopping them into your desktop or full size notebook are few and far between. One option, however, is an Addonics 2.5-inch flash drive kit.