Toshiba announced Monday that it will be selling the same solid state drives (SSD) that Apple is using in its new MacBook Air. Toshiba is marketing the SSD under the name Blade X-gale SSD, and is offering the super thin drives in 64, 128, and 256GB capacities.
While the company didn’t specifically announce that these are the same thin SSDs Apple is using in the MacBook Air, our friends at MacRumors noted that both the Blade X-gale and Apple’s SSD units, which is not-so-coincidentally supplied by Toshiba, have the same part numbers.
The 64GB and 128GB units are a mere 2.2mm tall, while the 256GB model is 3.7mm tall. Apple uses the 128GB in its 11” MacBook Air, whereas the 13” MacBook Air offers both the 128GB and 256GB sizes.
That may look like a RAM module, but it’s the Blade X-gale SSD, from Toshiba
We should note that there aren’t many practical applications for these drives for individual use. While they offer a SATA 2.6 interface, there are no devices besides Apple’s MacBook Air that are built for them. Today’s announcement from Toshiba is aimed at manufacturers, not consumers.
In addition, users thinking they can drop a 256GB module into the 11” MacBook Air are likely to find they don’t fit, else Apple would offer it as an option from the Apple Store.
What today’s announcement really means is that other companies are going to be able to work on thinner form factors for their computers and mobile devices.