What is mSATA SSD and how it can be useful – especially if you are not satisfied with the General speed of your laptop?
About the benefits of SSD over the classic hard drives we have said many times: they are more energy-efficient, quiet, compact, and most importantly – they are much faster. Their main disadvantage (at least for now) is still a fairly high price per unit volume and thus they are more preferred in combination with a standard hard drive with a larger capacity, i.e. when the SSD used as the system disk on which Windows is installed, and a few important programs. This allows to speed up the system several times, while the HDD serves as storage space for the collection of movies and music, photos, etc.
This, of course, the perfect combination, which can be found in many desktop systems. However, in the case of laptops, all a little different. Because space in an ultra compact package, the modern mobile computer is strictly limited, often users have to choose between solid and classic disc, that is between high speed and lower capacity or large capacity, but with much more modest performance.
Of course, on the market you can find models that offer the ability to install two HDD / SSD drives or a combination of them, but they are relatively rare and therefore expensive.
Fortunately some years there is a new and still relatively little-known alternative that combines the «best of both worlds». We are talking about the standard mSATA (Mini-SATA), which is sometimes found under the name of M. 2 or NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor). In all cases we are talking about the same thing – a special class of disk devices of new generation, which at the same time fast (using SSD technology) and ultra compact, which makes them exclusively suitable for laptops, ultrabooks and hybrid systems.
The main contribution to the standard Mini-SATA made by Intel, which originally developed it as an ultrafast buffer memory, accelerating the work of the computers that use motherboards with the chipset silicon giant.
However, today this format is most widely used in the world of portable computers, mainly because it is miniature and provides laptop users an easy way to speeds of an SSD without the need to make a difficult choice between SSD and HDD.
Unfortunately, not all modern laptops have a possibility to use mSATA SSD. In other words, the standard support and a slot for the installation of the device must be provided by the laptop manufacturer. But if your laptop supports this technology, you effortlessly can add a drive or replace the one already installed mSATA SSD to a newer, faster device with a larger capacity.
How to know whether your laptop mSATA SSD?
The easiest way is to look at the official website of the manufacturer. If you have a model from Lenovo, made after 2011, it almost certainly is already using the mSATA SSD, or at least has a slot for the installation of such a device.
The support of this technology and offer a lot of models from Dell, Toshiba, HP, Acer and other leading manufacturers. Here is a detailed (though incomplete) list of models that are equipped with a slot for mSATA SSD:
- Acer Aspire: M3-xxx, M5-xxx, R7, Timeline
- Acer: Iconia Tab W500, W700
- Alienware: 18, m14x r2, M17x R4
- ASUS Eee Slate EP121
- ASUS VivoBook: S400CA, S551LB,
- ASUS Zenbook: UX21, UX31
- Clevo Notebook P150SM, P151SM1, P157SM, W350STQ, W650SR, W230ST, W350SKQ, W355STQ, W650SH, W651SH, W651SR, W655SH, W655SR, W740SU
- Dell Inspiron: 14Z (5423), 15 (7537), 15z (5523), 15R SE 17R 17R 5720, 17R SE
- Dell Latitude: 6430u, ST LST01, XT2, XT3
- Dell Precision: M4500, M4600, M4800, M6400, M6500, M6600, M6700, M6800
- Dell XPS: 12, 13, (L321X), 14, 14 (L421X), 15 (L521X), 18
- Dell XPS One 2710
- Dell Vostro: 3360, 3460, 3560
- Fusion Garage JOOJOO
- Fusion Futro: S700, S900
- Gigabyte: Q1742N, U2142, U2440M, U2440N, U2442
- Google: CR-48 Chrome
- HP Pavilion: dm4t Series (DM4T-3xxx)
- HP ENVY: 15 Series (15-3xxx), 17 Series (17-3xxx), TouchSmart 15t-j100
- HP Folio: 13-1000
- HP ZBook 15: Has both a standard 2.5″ HDD/SSD bay and an additional mSATA SSD bay
- Lenovo: K26, K47A, K47G
- Lenovo IdeaPad: S210, S400, U300, Y460, Y470, Y480, Y500, Y510, Y560, Y570, Y580
- Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
- Lenovo ThinkPad: X220, X230, T420s, T420, T430, T430s, T520, T530, L420, L430, L520, L530, W520, W530
- Lenovo ThinkPad Edge: E220s, E320, E330, E420, E420s, E430, E430s, E520, E530
- LG Xnote: P330
- MSI Windpad 110W
- Samsung: Series 7 Slate, Series 9 Ultrabook
- Samsung Chromebook Series 5
- Sony VAIO E Series
- Toshiba Qosmio: X70
- Toshiba Portege: Z830, Z835, Z930
- Toshiba Satellite: P70, P770
The installation of the mSATA SSD is not complicated, but requires some technical knowledge. If you feel unsure, then the official site hardware support manufacturer of your laptop should be your first stop. Also information about installing the mSATA SSD can be found in the official documentation that came with your mobile computer.
The market for such devices is constantly increasing and supply is already very impressive –Samsung, for example, offers a model with an impressive capacity of 1000 GB (1 TB). The price is certainly not less impressive – $ 600!
Of course, you can find cheap offers, which is sufficient for most users. They provide enough space to install Windows and programs such as MS Office and Adobe Photoshop, and is able to significantly accelerate work with them, and the performance of the laptop in General. At the same time the hard disk will be retained to carry out normal functions, i.e. as a place to store less in need of high speed drives data: documents, games, movies, music, photos.