We were quite excited going into this review, but I have to admit the async flash blemished what would have been a glowing review of the Atlas 480GB. Making matters far worse, Mushkin's website doesn't even list the non-Deluxe Atlas at all. Personally, I think this will lead to some confusion for potential shoppers trying to research mSATA upgrades. The mSATA standard isn't new to SSD enthusiasts, but for the average ultrabook owner, both products look the same, and why spend the extra money when you're uninformed. We always recommend Toshiba Toggle or IMFT synchronous over asynchronous flash.
Given our strong yet highly accurate feelings on asynchronous NAND, let's focus on the reason why we have this drive in the first place. The Atlas 480GB is an engineering marvel. Mushkin managed to fit eight NAND flash chips and a controller on a card with less outside surface area than a Zippo lighter. A number of ultrabooks are shipping with only mSATA, no 2.5" SATA, so there is a real need for this drive in the market.
Who really wants to spend a grand on a sleek looking ultrabook and be limited to 256GB or less? Most new notebooks and even a high number of desktops ship with mSATA slots just waiting to be populated, making the Atlas more than just an ultrabook specific drive.
At the time of writing we didn't have an update on pricing, but these should hit Newegg fairly soon. We're going to see if Mushkin will swap our V model for a DX and see how the performance fairs against our other high performance mSATA drives. Hopefully by the time we make the exchange for the Deluxe review, Newegg has stock and we can publish pricing information.
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