The Apple MacBook Air's Toshiba solid-state drive appears to have quietly been replaced with a speedier Samsung SSD, says a new report.
The new Apple MacBook Air is only six months old,
but the laptop appears to have received an update already, in the form
of a new, speedier solid-state drive suspected to be the work of
Apple has quietly begun
shipping the super-light notebooks with SSDs with the model name SM128C,
thought to be made by Samsung-which has provided Apple with SSDs in
the past-instead of the Toshiba TS128C SSDs that the machines
originally shipped with following their October 2010 introduction,
according to an April 15 report from AnandTech
interesting aspect is that the SM128C models provide quite a nice
performance bump in at least one performance metric," reported the tech
site. "Benchmarks posted by users show that the SM128C manages up to
260MB/s read and 210MB/s write speeds. In our tests (and corroborating
what users have reported), the TS128C only offers speeds of up to
210MB/s read and 185MB/s write. The SM128C also supports Native Command
Queuing (NCQ) while the TS128C does not."
it's possible that Apple decided to extend a bit of good will to its
users, quietly speeding things without so much as a press release for
bragging rights, another thought is that the move was precipitated by
the recent catastrophic events in Japan, which have damaged or slowed
production at a number of manufacturers' sites-Toshiba's included.
to damage from the massive March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami
and aftershocks, a Toshiba chip plant responsible for microcontrollers
and other system chips was closed, the Wall Street Journal
reported April 15, adding that aftershocks had again pushed back the
date that a partial resumption of operations was scheduled to begin.
President Norio Sasaki told the Journal that the impact of the events
on Toshiba's fiscal year, which ended in March, would "be limited,"
though the company's operating profit and revenue are expected to fall
short of forecasts. Its fiscal net profit had been estimated at $1.2
Research firm IHS iSuppli-days before
Apple announced that it would begin shipping the iPad 2 in an
additional 25 countries-expected the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker to have trouble meeting demand
for the iPad 2, as a teardown had identified at least five components
in the tablet that were the work of Japanese manufacturers, according to
a March 17 report. Among the components was the tablet's NAND flash
In a March 21 research note, the
firm additionally reported that the Japan earthquake had caused the suspension of 25
percent of the global production of silicon wafers used to create
"These companies supply not only
domestic Japanese demand for wafers but also semiconductor
manufacturers around the world," according to the report. "Because of
this, the suspension of operations at these plants could have
wide-ranging implications beyond the Japanese electronics industry."
The SSDs were a major part of the MacBook Air's redesign (seen here
). Introducing it, Apple CEO Steve Jobs described the notebook as being "like nothing we've ever created before,"
and he likened it to "what would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked
up." Replacing the notebook's hard drive with an SSD helped Apple
achieve a device weight of just 2.3 pounds, improve battery life and
offer instant-on capabilities.
"MacBook Air is
the first of a new generation of notebooks that leaves behind mechanical
rotating storage in favor of solid-state flash storage," Jobs said in a
statement at the time, adding that the MacBook Air will "change the
way we think about notebooks."