There is some excitement taking place in the storage market. New high capacity small form factor flash storage devices known as mSATA are entering the retail channel.
Last year it was nearly impossible to find anything above an 80GB mSATA drive from Intel. This year the ballgame is very different with the proliferation of the thin and light notebooks and slates.
Crucial quietly started shipping the M4 256GB mSATA drive to a few retailers. Mushkin has been shipping a 240GB mSATA device for several weeks. Another supplier, MyDigitalSSD started shipping 256GB mSATA devices in the past couple of weeks as well. Suddenly notebook owners have some really decent choices.
Les Tokar has evaluated several of the new devices so I’d suggest you take a look at the following reviews on his site:
- MyDigitalSSD MDMS-SFIII-256 – http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/mydigitalssd-smart-series-256gb-ssd-review-top-performance-unmatched-capacity-killer-price/. Pictured above and courtesy of The SSD Review site.
- MyDigitalSSD MDMS-BP3-256 – http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/mydigitalssd-bulletproof-3-msata-256gb-ssd-review/
- Samsung PM830 – http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/samsung-pm830-sata-3-256gb-msata-ssd-review-ultrabooks-to-gain-capacity-and-sata-3-speed/
Les is kind enough to provide some links in those articles to amazon.com item listings but I’ll warn you, inventory goes fast. So far Samsung has not sold the coveted PM830 in the retail channel. If I see one, I will buy it first then let you know if any are left for you. Evil grin.
Now keep in mind not all of the notebooks and Ultrabooks™ can actually use a “standard” mSATA device. Many of the new notebooks use proprietary implementations. For instance, take a look at the inside of the new ASUS Zenbook Prime. I just wanted to bring this to your attention as you are surveying the emerging market. Enjoy.