Hands-On: A Second mSATA-Based SSD Emerges

System Example: Samsung Series 9 Notebook

Let’s look at a system design that truly benefits from slot form factor storage.

The NP900X3A is a thin-and-light 13” notebook in Samsung’s Series 9. The $1600 device competes with similar designs, such as the 13” Apple MacBook Air, Lenovo X series, and Sony X or Z series 13” notebooks. The 16.3 mm-thin machine is both small and light, given its 1.36 kg weight. It utilizes a low-voltage Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 processor, which may differ from one market to another. Duralumin (copper, manganese, and magnesium) is used to keep the weight down, but the black glossy design is quickly covered with fingerprints. Be that as it may, the notebook is a good example of a cool and upscale system that only supports mSATA devices as the primary storage.

The mSATA storage device can be found on the left side on this picture.

This is it: Samsung's 128 GB mSATA drive.

The drive slot is large enough to accept 1.8” drives, as you can see here. We simply used the PCB of Samsung’s PM810 2.5” SSD, which would fit into the smaller form factor. Should Samsung want to significantly increase capacity, it does have an option.

The duralumin housing reduces weight.