TarDisk is launching its new ‘Pear’ product today, a customized SD card solution for MacBook users that can double the device’s storage capacity while using software to create a hybrid drive that works hand in hand with your built-in drive.

There are a lot of SD card products on the market that make adding extra storage to MacBooks easy, but TarDisk Pear is different in that it merges with your built-in drives to create a new logically merged volume managed by OS X, meaning you’ll be able to tap into the storage just like a built-in drive:

“Unlike most external hard drives, where manual file allocation is necessary, this SD card creates a hybrid drive, combining the card and the internal hard drive into one. When installed, the hard drive is increased by up to 256GB and the product lies flush with the side wall of the laptop.”

WerqfDE_njX2pL0lvttFo_HYwTS70ASoxGjS16vUg3UTarDisk walked us through what makes the product different after the Pear is merged with your internal drive:

  • The new logically merged volume is managed by OSX.
  • Internal SSD is primarily used before data is sent to the product.
  • More frequently used files are maintained on SSD hardware.
  • TRIM enabled SSDs maintain original speed benefits of Trim.
  • Read/Write buffer (“swap-space-equivalent”) is maintained on SSD to buffer writes to files located on the product.
  • Failure modes, if ever encountered, allow for direct restoration from TimeMachine backups.

TarDisk is hoping consumers consider the Pear as a permanent ugprade, meaning once it’s installed you’ll have some of the likely expected issues if you remove/lose it. The company explained:

While TarDisk can be removed, its recommended use is as a permanent upgrade. This is comparable to the level of involvement required to replace a hard drive. Because it creates a hybrid drive, removing it will cause files to appear as missing. Re-inserting the TarDisk remedies this problem. As with any storage device, a backup should be a part of your routine. TarDisk Pear becomes part of your hard drive, and just like your regular hard drive if it fails, you lose that data. While read/write cycles are estimated at 3000 vs. the 5000 of your SSD, the logic used by Pear caches frequently read files in your SSD to reduce wear. That said, two hard drives increases the potential of one failing. Back up your computer normally using Time Machine. In our testing, we’ve had a very low failure rate.

The company originally launched a similar product on Kickstarter and raised over $100,000, but the new product is its first to create the hybrid, fusion drive. We haven’t been able to test the product, but we plan on doing so shortly once our review unit arrives. 

TarDisk is selling the product starting today through its website in two models: a 128GB version for $149 and 256GB for $399. Compare that to standard 256GB SD cards that on average sell for around $100 -$200 on Amazon. 


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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.