At GNARBOX, our primary organizational mission is to make the creative process easier for anyone with a camera. With this mission comes a responsibility to continuously improve our product to better serve our growing community of customers. Today, we’re happy to announce the newest addition to our product family, GNARBOX 256 GB - a larger capacity of our version 1 hardware.
In early 2016, we went back to the drawing board on our product design to address some core flaws of our prototype. We switched to an Intel processor, made some upgrades to our interfaces, and also selected higher performance internal storage.
We evaluated several options at the time. Here were the core requirements we contended with:
Power: Had to be low power, ideally <2W
Speed: Had to read/write at over 100 MB/s
Form Factor: Had to be compact and rugged
Cost: Had to be affordable enough to make the product viable in the competitive marketplace at a MSRP of $299
We threw out the below options, which would have been quite cost effective, because they did not meet our requirements:
Internal SD Card
The performance requirements left us with two real options within the ballpark of our power and cost requirements:
Soldered Down eMMC (2d NAND flash)
Soldered Down SSD (3d NAND flash)
The internal SSD chips we evaluated were pulling up to 5W which would have been an additional 33% drag on battery life. They were also quite expensive - prohibitively so, and they would’ve made our product commercially unviable, unless we were willing to charge a retail price of $450-500. This would have violated one of our key goals in building the product at an approachable price.
After some careful consideration regarding power and cost, we selected eMMC. This unfortunately came with a storage limitation of 128 GB, as no manufacturer was making a larger version that would have worked for our purposes, so despite requests for larger editions, this was not a possibility until recently. We carefully considered components from all available manufacturers, and found that the Toshiba eMMC was most performant, in terms of speed. We elected to go with Toshiba in all v1 units shipped to date because of this.
This summer, SanDisk released a 256 GB eMMC component based on 3d NAND and we quickly moved to test some samples to validate their performance. After some software tuning and careful testing, we confirmed that they would work for our purposes, and qualified the parts for release in July. Since then, we’ve placed an order with a fairly long lead time and begun production.
Today, we’re proud to be the first North American OEM to have this specific component in our product.
You can find GNARBOX 256GB available for Pre-Order on Amazon.com and in all retail channels shipping October 17th.