Even if you don’t follow the events of the solid state drive market closely, you might be aware that it is highly competitive, with dozens of players. However, there are much fewer companies that actually manufacture hardware components SSDs are made of, i.e. memory chips and controllers. To be specific, there are only five flash memory manufacturers: Samsung, Toshiba, SK Hynix, Micron and Intel. Whatever SSD you take apart, you will only find chips from one of these firms in it. Building on this foundation, the flash memory makers produce their own SSDs too since they have a clear advantage in this market. You may have noticed, however, that our reviews only cover SSDs from three of the mentioned brands, namely Samsung, Intel and Micron (Crucial). We haven't had products from Toshiba and Hynix to test. It’s because of the marketing policy. While the first three companies turn out consumer-class SSDs, Toshiba and Hynix focus on OEM shipments and enterprise products.
Well, as ordinary PC users get more interested in SSDs, even the most reluctant manufacturer has to pay attention to such products. That’s why we were not really surprised to come across Toshiba’s THNSNH series SSD designed for PCs. Its road to us doesn’t seem to have been smooth, though. It is obviously not meant to be sold via ordinary retail channels. It doesn’t have a nice-sounding and comprehensible name and lacks pretty packaging. Still, somehow it made it to a shop shelf where we spotted it and grabbed it and brought it to our test labs.
It doesn’t mean that a new and strong player has appeared in the market of consumer-class SSDs. We do not really know whether Toshiba takes such products seriously. The THNSNH model is not available in all regions, so you may consider yourself lucky if you find it selling in retail.
Still, we don’t think that the time we spent on it was wasted. Besides a rather attractive price tag, this SSD from the second largest flash memory maker features a high-performance hardware platform with Toshiba’s very own 19nm MLC NAND flash with high-speed Toggle Mode 2.0 interface, and a proprietary controller based on Marvell technologies. The result is the 256-gigabyte Toshiba THNSNH SSD we’re going to present to you in our today’s review.