The 320-series retail drives (labelled 2.5" form factor) come with a black plastic spacer (bezel) around the edge of the drive which can be removed by 4 screws. In doing so, the drive becomes 1.8" form factor. There are Internet users who are relying on a review from Anandtech as an authoritative statement that an official 1.8" model would be available in July 2011.
There has been a lot of speculation and concern over whether or not doing this voids the warranty on the drive. There have been statements both ways. You can read the thread in full yourself. Also worth reading is the previous thread, where an Intel Forum Administrator edited a post stating removing the screws does void the warranty. So like I said, nobody really knows.
My opinion, and this is only an opinion: say you remove the spacer, use the drive, then eventually it goes bad. You simply screw the spacer back on before sending the drive back for RMA. There is no sticker that indicates you would void your warranty by removing the spacer (you know what I'm talking about; a sticker that has to be cut to open a product, usually with the print "WARRANTY VOID IF LABEL IS CUT" on it), and I refuse to believe Intel would start inspecting the screws with a microscrope to see if a screwdriver has removed some of their paint just to reject an RMA. (Likewise, use a plastic or vinyl-tipped screwdriver, or cover the tip of a metallic screwdriver with two layers of saran wrap, and nobody would ever know...)
Intel really does need to come forth with an official statement (PDF, etc.) stating whether or not spacer removal voids warranty (and if it does, Intel is truly out of their gourd).
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The 320-series retail drives (labelled 2.5" form factor) come with a black plastic spacer (bezel) around the edge of the drive which can be removed by 4 screws. In doing so, the drive becomes 1.8" form factor.
No, a 2.5 inch drive will not become a 1.8 inch drive by doing that. The number refers to the width, not the height.
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Its been more than a month since the official release of the 320 series in the 1.8" form factor and yet I have yet to see this on sale at any of the retailers online or otherwise. I have a Gen 2 80 GB drive on my Thinkpad T410s.
The 1.8 inch versions of the 320 series has an expected delivery date of august fifth at online retailers in my country (Denmark). You should also be able to buy them very soon.
However, you can also consider dropping your CD/DVD drive and run a standard (and cheaper/more available) 2.5 inch SSD in an Ultrabay hard drive adaptor: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Ultrabay_Slim_ThinkPad_Serial_Hard_Drive_Bay_Adapter_III
I agree that just peeling off the plastic casing is not going to get you a 1.8" drive. These drives are 5mmm thick as oppossed to 7 or 9.5 mmm for the 2.5" form factor drives. I alos chceked the Intel website for the engineering drawings and those drawing confirm that the 2.5" drives are not just padded with plastic on top of the 1.8" drives to get it to that form factor. So, I don't buy that argument.
Yeah, I know that is a last gap option but I would rather have the Ultrabay available for optical media for now. Thanks for letting me know about the retail release date in Denmark for the 1.8" drives. That's the thing about Intel though - nothing's preditable any more - they seem to have gone the Microsoft way in terms of missed dedalines for mega launches ....perhaps an indication of others bad things to come. Trying to keep the faith ..... still .
Thank you for correcting me -- I was under the impression that the form factor was purely height-based, not width and length. You're absolutely right. Please do not heed what I said. :-)
I think you are confused between the 7mm vs 9.5 mm drives which are drive thicknessese of the 2.5" form factor drive and the 1.8 " drives - a completely different animal . The 1.8n " form factor drives have a thickness of 5 mmm - neither 7 mm nor 9.5 mm. The earlier discussions relate to the 7mm thickness 2.5" drives that come with the T420 Thinkpads. Mine is a T410s and these come with the 5mm thick 1.8" form factor SSD.
Thanks for replying though.
a few retailers in the U.S are begining to show availability like HP and ACME Micro but they are all the OEM version which as I understand doesn't carry the same extended warranty as the retail version of the product.
Intel ,I have to say is pathetic in that it has not answered questions I posted to their pre-sales department as to when w could expect to see a retil version of these drives to show up at retailers. Truly bizzare situation !!!
Guessing what the product code will be for the retail version - SSDSA1NW300G3K5 ?
Is anyone at Intel listening ?
The drives are finally available but only OEM (brown box) and not retail versions. Buyer beware - no 5 year extended warranty on the OEM drives ! I bought the first of 3 drives I need and realized the discrepancy in the warranty levels after my first purchase. Neither Intel nor authorized resellers are opening their mouths as to whether or when a retail version will be available. Pathetic customer service is begining to become a habit with Intel !