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Get a 480GB solid-state mSATA drive for $139.99

The ultimate upgrade for your Ultrabook or other ultra-slim laptop, this mini-SATA drive normally sells for at least $200. Plus: two bonus deals!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read


If you splurged on an Ultrabook or any other pancake-height laptop in the last couple years, chances are good it came with not a lot of storage. My two-year-old Samsung, for example, has just 128GB -- and I routinely bump into that low ceiling.

Alas, upgrades tend to be pricey, as Ultrabook-friendly mSATA drives (which are tiny, "naked" versions of the enclosed SATA III drives you're probably used to seeing) have been slower to reach mass production.

That's why I'm particularly excited about today's deal: Today only, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Crucial M500 480GB mSATA internal solid-state drive for $139.99 shipped. It lists for $259.99 and sells elsewhere for at least $200. (Price at Newegg, for example: $226.99.) For $139.99 you'd usually be lucky to score a 256GB drive. This? This is more.

Update: Curses! Amazon's stock ran out shortly after I posted this, which is why the link now leads to a third-party seller (and much higher price). Sorry for the narrow window, cheeps. There's no way for me to know what kind of inventory Amazon has.

Nearly double, in fact. And for me, it would nearly quadruple the available storage in my Samsung, which is humming along just fine save for that one issue.

There's a caveat, though, and that's compatibility: You'll want to make sure this drive is compatible with your system, as not every laptop can accommodate an mSATA drive. I've already peeked under the hood of my Samsung, so I know it's the right fit, but you should definitely consult your manufacturer and/or owner's manual before ordering.

Assuming you clear that hurdle, the M500 earned an amazing 4.6-star average rating from about 400 buyers. It's blazing-fast and backed by a three-year warranty. However, in order to transfer everything from your existing drive, you may need a special USB cable and some software; Crucial supplies no migration tools.

Typically I share deals on regular SATA drives, but this mini is just the ticket for folks with mini-style PCs. If you need a big bump in storage, this is one of the best deals I've seen.

Bonus deal: Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks can be a risky proposition, as you're effectively making your data accessible to any hacker with half a brain. As noted in CNET's tips for staying safe on public Wi-Fi, a VPN tool is one of the best lines of defense. But who wants to pay monthly or annual subscription fees for one? You don't have to: For a limited time, StackSocial is offering a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for $39. This top-rated service, which protects your PCs and mobile devices, normally runs $25 per year.

Bonus deal No. 2: Assuming you don't already own, like, 12 mobile chargers, Hisgadget (via Amazon) is again offering the iClever 11,200mAh dual-port mobile charger (silver) for $17.99 shipped (via Prime; non-subscribers will have to pay for shipping) when you apply coupon code BNZ58Q2H at checkout. It has ridiculously good reviews, and you can also get it in gray using the same code.