Why Apple’s New Fusion Drive May Be More Exciting Than the iPad Mini

Apple iMac with Fusion Drive
Apple’s new iMac with Fusion Drive will begin shipping next month

Explaining hard drive technology is not nearly as fun or glamorous as talking about how thin or light a new device is. You can’t exactly pull an iMac out of your pocket to exclaim “It’s so efficient!” But in reality, the Fusion Drive might be the most innovate idea Apple has come up with in awhile.

My evidence is anecdotal, and based on my experience, but here’s my story. I bought a new computer a couple months ago, and went into the Apple store all ready to buy a new MacBook Pro. That’s what I had before, and I loved it. I thought the MacBook Air was just a machine that sacrificed power for looks, and I didn’t care that it was super thin. But what I had forgotten about was the flash memory.

Basically, the MacBook Air has solid state (aka SSD aka flash) memory. Without getting too technical about it, it runs faster. It can open programs and load processes quicker than old-fashioned hard disk drive (aka HDD) memory. So what’s the problem? It’s significantly more expensive than HDD memory: until the last couple of years, we only used SSD memory in small amounts, like thumb drives and old-school iPod Nanos.

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