If you bought a new laptop in the past year, there's a good chance that hiding somewhere inside is an mSATA slot. Using that to add an SSD is much better than replacing the hard disk with a 2.5-inch SSD, since you can use the existing hard drive for storage purposes after moving your OS and software to the mSATA SSD. More and more consumers are becoming aware of the advantage of such an upgrade, and while the number of separately sold mSATA SSDs is very low compared to normal SSDs, it's a growing segment. Kingston and RunCore recently sent us their new mSATA SSDs, which we are taking a closer look at today. From Kingston we received the 60GB and 120GB versions of the mS200 SSDs, and RunCore provided the 120GB version of the Pro V mSATA SSDs.
Kingston SSDNow mS200
The mS200 mSATA SSDs are part of Kingston's System Builder series, which means they're primarily intended for companies that assemble laptops. But you can buy these separately as well, even if they come pretty barebones. That's not really an issue, however, since you can find good data migration software for free, as you can read in this article. The one thing you could be missing is a screw for the mSATA slot, but a solution for that is stealing one of the screws from the WiFi module in your laptop. Usually they're fine with one less screw to hold them in place.
The mS200 SSDs are based on the SandForce SF-2241 controller, related to the very common SF-2281 used in countless SSDs.The SF-2281 can have up to eight channels, but the SF-2241 is limited to four. That means the performance can be somewhat less, but that's largely compensated for by SandForce's compression methods.
Storage is provided by Toshiba 19nm ToggleNAND flash chips. Kingston promises reading speeds up to 550 MB/s, and writing up to 520 MB/s, which is typical for SandForce SSDs. You get three years of warranty, with a maximum of 46.5 TB of writes for the 60 GB model and 93 TB for the 120 GB model. With 10 GB per day that's about 12.5 years and 25 years, respectively. For normal consumer use that's plenty.
The 60 GB model costs an average of $82, and the 120 GB model an average of $139. Compared to traditional 2.5-inch SSDs that's pretty expensive, but it's actually affordable for mSATA SSDs. mSATAs SSDs still are very expensive because not that many are being sold yet. The mS200 60GB is the cheapest 60-64 GB mSATA SSD listed by the stores on our site, and the 120 GB model is the second-cheapest after the Crucial M500.