The 'Book Review

Fast SSDs for Legacy 'Books and MacBook Airs, Chip Unites SSD and Hard Drive, Solar Power, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.01.07

Lots of new SSDs this week, especially from Other World Computing, which now offers IDE/ATA 2.5" notebook SSDs for PowerBooks and iBooks as well as SSDs for all versions of the MacBook Air. We have a separate section for SSD press releases this week.

General Apple and Mac desktops is covered in The Mac News Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products & Services

SSD News

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Marvel Chip Makes SSD and Hard Drive Work Like a Hybrid

Hardmac's Lionel says we all know the advantages and detriments of SSDs - extremely fast but expensive and don't have huge capacities (although Micron will release a 512 GB 2.5" SSD next month - ed). On the other side, regular hard drives are cheaper and have a bigger capacity but are much slower. In order to combine the advantages of both, Seagate made the Momentus XT, and now Marvel has decided to go the next step and unveiled a controller that can direct both an SSD a regular hard drive simultaneously.

The Marvel chip decides whether data will go to the SSD or hard drive, and the computer sees the two as a single drive.

How to Run OS X on a Chrome Notebook

TG Daily's Trent Nouveau says:

"Booting Linux on a Chrome notebook? Well, that's to be expected. Running Mac OS X Snow Leopard on the Cr-48? Now that's downright impressive!

"But YouTube user Damis648 has done just that."

Use an Old Laptop as a Second Display

PCWorld's Rick Broida says a couple of annoying hardware problems recently forced him to get creative, and he explains how he worked around these problems, including a great tip on how to turn an old laptop into a secondary display using MaxiVista (€30 demoware), a utility that lets you turn a second Windows PC into a second monitor.

Editor's note: On the Mac side, ScreenRecycler ($30 demoware) does the same thing, letting you use a Mac or Windows PC as a second display. If you want to run two or more Macs sharing the same mouse and keyboard, putting the power of each computer to use, look at Teleport, which we use at LEM headquarters. A program called Synergy lets you do this cross-platform. dk

Reduce SSD Wear by Using a RAM Disk for Your Browser Cache

Mac OS X Hints contributor QuickSander says that while installing a new OCZ Vertex II SSD in an old 2006 iMac really speeds things up, he was was searching for ways to limit the wear of his SSD, given the technology's limited lifetime with regards to writes. One solution is to store your browser's cache on a RAM disk that will only be written to the SSD at logout.

To that end, QuickSander has created a Mac OS X application (actually a simple Bash script) that you can place in your login items folder to create a RAM drive and store/restore Safari cache on login/logout. You can modify the script for other apps.

Editor's note: QuickSander's script sets aside 1 GB of RAM as a RAM disk, which may be excessive if you have less than 3 GB of RAM. Also keep in mind that when your Mac runs out of physical RAM, it will use virtual memory, so reserving a big block of memory as a RAM disk could have the unintended consequence of increasing SSD writes and reducing SSD life. dk

Products & Services

QuickerTek Apple Juicz Solar Charger Release 2

PR: In an effort to provide Mac uses with the widest possible range of power options, QuickerTek has expanded its solar chargers to include the recently announced 11" and 13" Apple MacBook Air 3rd generation laptops. These Apple Juicz solar power products now reach all Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. In addition, two Apple Juicz solar products provide the level of power and performance users require.

Apple Juicz Solar ChargerThe Apple Juicz Solar Charger panel folds into an easily transportable size, yet unfolds to gather maximum sunlight to power the MacBook. It also uses the original MagSafe power connector, so users don't need to worry about compatibility or damaging the laptop in any way.

A 27 watt Apple Juicz Solar Charger is sufficient for many users to charge the MacBook and MacBook Air. However, for those customers that need faster charging with more power, the 55 watt version is also available. The 55 watt version uses more solar panels (larger when unfolded) to gather more solar rays providing faster charging.

Most users have seen those fragile solar panels that were also very bulky, weak, costly and are a one-size-fits-all design. The Apple Juicz is a much more refined product, designed to be use by active mobile MacBook users. Often Apple Juicz Solar Charger users are in remote areas where reliable power simply is not available~ like an Apple Juicz Solar user who climbed the tallest peak in the world~ Mount Everest. Whether you mountain climb or just want to take your MacBook camping or to any remote location for vacation, or for work, freedom from the wall outlet is a welcome development.

Because QuickerTek provides both power and wireless networking options for Apple users, our customers can take a MacBook on a boat ~ powered by the Apple Juicz Solar Charger and also use one of the wireless antenna upgrade products to reach out from the boat, camper or RV to a access wireless access point.

QuickerTek understands the demands of working and playing when mobile, so the Apple Juicz Solar Charger is designed to be used outside. Not only does it fold for easy transport, but it also features grommets around the outside of the solar panels, so that it can be secured to the ground or other surface. Whether users want to spend the day at the beach, remote camping or just out on the balcony or deck, the Apple Juicz Solar Charger makes it possible.

QuickerTek now offers solar power now for the entire Apple MacBook line of popular laptops. The two new models of 11" MacBook Air and both new 13" models can be charged with the Apple Juicz Solar Charger. In fact, these four new MacBook Airs recharge 30% faster then previous Air models.

The Apple Juicz now powers all MacBook and MacBook Pro models as well as all MacBook Air. MacBook users are no longer tethered to the AC wall outlet. The freedom to work where you want, makes the solar charger from QuickerTek very popular with all users ~ but especially in tough environments.

The Apple Juicz Solar Charger is fully ready to use, with all cables to make "going solar" as easy as it should be. No adjustments to regular operation are required to take full advantage of the sun. Users don't have to do anything different in order to use the sun's power ~ the Solar Charger power attaches to the laptop just like the stock power cable. Apple Juicz Solar Charger users also have additional power options. A 2.5 mm power connector allowing access to other QuickerTek power products such as external batteries.

Specifications:

  • Flexible and folding fully connected solar panels;
  • 5 mm connector ~ for connecting QuickerTek solar and external batteries;
  • Original Apple MagSafe adapter;
  • 12 volt female cigarette adapter;
  • 3~foot extension cable with 2.5 mm connection;
  • Grommets to secure the unfolded panels during charging

Pricing and Availability

The 27 Watt is $700. The 55 Watt is priced at $1,200. Like most QuickerTek products, the Apple Juicz Solar Charger is backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Sonnet Yin-Yang FireWire Mini Hub Enables Simultaneous Connection of FireWire 800 and 400 Devices to One FireWire 800 Port

PR: Are you a longtime Mac user? If so, you've probably purchased a few peripherals along the way devices like DV camcorders, external drives, and even an old iPod or two and some of them probably have FireWire 400 interfaces (a.k.a. IEEE 1394a and iLink). Your older Mac probably had at least two FireWire ports, so connecting more than one of those devices at the same time was easy. But, if you've purchased a new iMac, Mac mini, or MacBook Pro in the last couple of years, you may have run into problems when you tried to connect multiple FireWire devices; there's only one FireWire port, and the FireWire 400 connectors didn't match. Sonnet's Yin "Yang FireWire 800 to FireWire 400/800 mini hub solves both problems.

Sonnet Yin-Yang FireWire Mini HubYin-Yang plugs into the single FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) port found on most new Mac computers and enables you to connect and use a FireWire 400 device (the Yin) and a FireWire 800 device (the Yang) at the same time. Yin-Yang doesn't need a power adapter, yet will support a bus-powered 2.5" drive on either port. Fully IEEE 1394 compliant, this mini hub requires no drivers, supports all industry standard FireWire peripherals, and allows you to plug in and disconnect devices without shutting off your computer.

FireWire 800 is a fast peripheral connection included on the latest iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro computers. These Macs (with the exception of the Mac Pro) have only a single FireWire 800 (IEEE-1394b) port and no FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a) port. The Yin-Yang FireWire Mini Hub lets you connect two FireWire peripherals such as external drives, DV camcorders, Webcams, audio interfaces, and previous-generation iPod mobile digital devices can be concurrently connected and used. No other adapters or cable swapping are required.

Sonnet Yin-Yang FireWire Mini HubYin-Yang is small and portable and supports one bus-powered device (on either port). The hub housing, measuring just 1.9" x 1.5" x 0.6", is about the size of a matchbox, and the attached host cable is only 3" (8 cm) long. Yin-Yang requires no power adapter, needs no driver software, and works with all manufacturers' FireWire peripherals.

Key Features

  • Provides a simple way to connect both a FireWire 400 device and a FireWire 800 device at the same time to a single FireWire 800 port on your computer
  • Supports concurrent data transfers to and from two attached devices at 800 Mb/s and 400 Mb/s, respectively
  • Operates without an external power supply
  • Supports one bus-powered device on either port
  • Allows you to plug in and disconnect peripherals without shutting off your computer
  • Small and rugged the hub case measures just 1.9" x 1.5" x .6", and the attached cable 3" long

Yin-Yang (part number FHB-8284) is available immediately, at a suggested retail price of $69.95.

Seagate GoFlex for Mac External Drives

PR: Addressing the personal preferences of the Mac community, Seagate has introduced a new collection of GoFlex for Mac external drives designed to make it easy for those who use Mac OS X and Time Machine to backup, shuttle, or share their digital content.

Seagate GoFlex for Mac External DrivesThese new portable and desktop solutions are HFS+ formatted out-of-the-box, making them fully compatible with Apple Time Machine backup software, while maintaining the ability to work across both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X computers. A truly unique feature, GoFlex for Mac drives can also be used with computers running Windows by simply downloading an HFS+ driver for Windows from Seagate.com, which will provide full read-write access to the drive from a Windows computer.

Each GoFlex for Mac product comes bundled with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 adapters and cables, the most popular interfaces for Apple computers, but also delivers the flexibility to change the drive's interface to USB 3.0 or powered eSATA for use with Windows computers. The GoFlex interface cables help deliver the speed, performance, and connectivity people need, as well as to help safeguard their investments against changing technology. To deliver a fresh look that fits seamlessly with today's Apple product line, each 2.5" ultraportable drive in the family features a durable, soft-touch, metallic finish, which is also designed to withstand scratches, fingerprints, or other marks incurred from travel.

The new lineup of GoFlex for Mac external drives include:

GoFlex for Mac ultraportable drive

This 2.5" portable drive is now designed specifically for use with Apple's Time Machine right out-of-the-box, easily go back in time to access changes or file updates were before they were made. MSRP $199.99 for 1 TB, and $249.99 for 1.5 TB.

GoFlex for Mac Limited Edition ultraportable drive

The GoFlex for Mac Limited Edition ultraportable drive packs 1 TB of storage into the standardized 2.5" form factor, making it the slimmest high-cap drive available on the market today. With a depth of 12.5mm and shorter in length than an iPhone, the GoFlex for Mac Limited Edition is perfect for use with GoFlex TV or GoFlex Net. MSRP $199.95 for 1 TB.

GoFlex Pro for Mac ultra portable

This 7200 RPM, 2.5" drive delivers advanced performance for those professionals who place high demands on their storage, such as graphic artists, musicians, videographers or photographers. Using the included FireWire 800 cable to achieve transfer speeds up to three times faster than USB 2.0. MSRP $149.99 for 500 GB; $179.99 for 750 GB.

GoFlex Desk for Mac drive

This 3.5" high-capacity external drive includes a flexible design that can sit horizontally or vertically to fit your workspace. Back up files using Apple's Time Machine. Optional software displays the drive's real-time capacity with lights on the dock and includes other useful tools. MSRP $219.99 for 2 TB; $279.99 for 3 TB.

In addition, each GoFlex for Mac drive can be used with other devices in the GoFlex Storage System such as the GoFlex Net media sharing device and the GoFlex TV HD media player. These solutions provide the flexibility to enjoy content on a TV or a mobile device, such as an iPad or smart phone. There is also an option to download additional software for use with all GoFlex for Mac drives that will provide helpful utilities such as a control to turn the activity lights off and a tool to verify that the drive is functioning properly. Each drive in the family also comes backed by a Seagate three-year warranty, helping to protect your investment and providing peace of mind.

"With over 10 billion songs downloaded from the iTunes store and Apple's market share continuing to grow year-over-year, the growing audience for Mac OS X will need external storage to backup all their digital content," says Darcy Clarkson, vice president of Global Retail Sales and Marketing for Seagate. "Today's product introduction addresses these current market trends and underscores Seagate's commitment to delivering flexible, easy-to-use solutions that meet varying customer needs."

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini: Industry's First 2.5" 1.5 TB Quad Interface FireWire/USB Bus Powered Portable Storage Solution

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro miniPR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that its OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini 1.5 TB model is the highest capacity 2.5" Quad Interface bus powered portable storage solution on the market and available for immediate ordering, with 12 models priced from $99.97. Featuring a Quad Interface of FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0, and eSATA interface connectivity for data transfer speeds up to 300 MB/s, the fanless Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini delivers the highest storage/backup performance available to Mac or PC users in a portable, brushed aluminum, no AC adapter required Plug and Play footprint.

In addition to the new 1.5 TB model, which offers 500 GB more capacity than other competing brand portable drives, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini is available in eleven other Quad Interface models offering a variety of speed, capacity, and drive type options:

5400 RPM

  • 250 GB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, $99.97
  • 320 GB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, $109.99
  • 500 GB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, $119.99
  • 640 GB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, $144.00
  • 1.0 TB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, $179.99
  • NEW 1.5 TB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, $279.99

7200 RPM

  • 320 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, $109.99
  • 500 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, $134.99
  • 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, $179.99

Solid State Drives featuring the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD

  • 60 GB SSD, $219.99
  • 120 GB SSD, $329.99
  • 240 GB SSD, $599.99

All OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini models, including the new 1.5 TB model, are available for immediate ordering from Other World Computing and are compatible with Mac OS 8.6 and later, including all versions of Mac OS X, and Windows 98SE or later operating systems. Solutions come ready for Plug and Play ease of use with all interface connecting cables, an over $100 retail value disk utility software bundle, and a three year complete solution warranty.

Portable & Bus Powered for Mobile Lifestyles

Measuring a compact 3.8" W x 5.5" L x 1.1" H, the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini offers storage capacity up to 1.5 TB enough space for up to 1.5 million JPEG photos, 750 DVD movies, 115 hours of digital video, or 526,000 MP3 songs in its fanless, aircraft grade brushed aluminum enclosure. Because it's bus-powered, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini doesn't require an AC adapter, which makes it ideal for in-the-field business professionals, creative/entertainment professionals, students, and anyone else needing to back up data, transport large files between computers, gain additional storage capacity, and even perform video editing and live music recording.

Built for Performance & Flexibility

Designed to emulate the award winning history of the larger desktop sized Mercury Elite-AL Pro, the Elite-AL Pro mini portable storage solution line features the fastest 2.5" SATA hard drive mechanisms up to 7200 RPM as well as OWC's Mercury Extreme Pro SSD for demanding A/V, digital photography, professional music, graphics, general data, and Time Machine ready storage needs. With two FireWire 800 ports, users can daisy chain multiple devices, connect legacy FireWire 400 devices via an 800 to 400 connecting cable, and can even utilize the fastest data transfer interface, eSATA, while bus powering via FireWire. The Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini can also be used with storage capable digital cameras and camcorders with FireWire and/or USB data ports for fast, on-location backups of images and video.

"With 500 GB more capacity than other similar portable brand storage solutions, the 1.5 TB Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini should be at the top of anyone's list seeking the highest capacity and performance in a highly mobile design, says Other World Computing Founder and CEO Larry O'Connor. "Besides the industry's largest capacity, the 12 different Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini models also offer choices of speed and drive type to meet any particular need and/or budget."

SSD News

Micron RealSSD: Up to 512 GB of NAND Flash-Based Storage for Notebooks

PR: Micron Technology, Inc. has unveiled a new portfolio of what it claims are the industry's most advanced RealSSD solid-state drives (SSDs) for the fast growing flash-based notebook market.

Micron RealSSDA new breed of notebooks, such as the Gen-2 MacBook Airs, are entering the market that have lightweight construction, snappier system responsiveness, and a longer lasting battery, all made possible because of the innovations in flash-based storage products.

"SSDs are bringing excitement back into personal computing," says Dean Klein, vice president of memory system development at Micron. "Micron is accelerating this enthusiasm with our new RealSSD portfolio, providing even greater performance and higher capacities than our previous generation SSDs."

The new portfolio is the first SSD product line to incorporate Micron's 25-nanometer (nm) NAND flash technology, creating a broad portfolio of capacities ranging from 64-gigabyte (GB) to 512 GB. The drives will be available in 1.8" and 2.5" form factors.

As with its predecessor, the product line also supports the SATA 6 Gb/s interface, which opens up the data path between the host processor and the SSD delivering improved overall system responsiveness including faster boot times and speedier application loads. The new drives reach read speeds up to 415 megabytes (MB)/second, which is 17% faster than Micron's previous generation drives. With write performance varying by capacity, the new 512 GB drive achieves up to 260 MB/second write speeds, which is more than 20% faster than the fastest C300 drive. The new SSDs also provide benefits that desktops, workstations, and industrial applications can take advantage of including low power consumption, lightweight construction, and resistance to shock and vibration.

"At IDC we expect total portable PC SSD shipments to increase significantly every year for the next three years," comments IDC's research manager for Solid State Storage Technologies Jeff Janukowicz. "The use of leading-edge NAND technology and product innovations, such as in Micron's RealSSD drives continue to bring SSDs into the mainstream by enabling higher performance and lower power consumption in a more cost effective solution."

Micron is currently working with notebook manufacturers to qualify its new RealSSD drives under the C400 product name. With samples of the RealSSD C400 drives available now, Micron expects mass production to begin in February.

Bringing the drives to business customers and consumers, Crucial, a division of Micron, will begin selling the portfolio under the name, Crucial m4 SSD. The Crucial m4 SSD product line is expected to be available online at crucial.com and through select global channel partners in the first quarter of 2011.

Micron Offering NAND Flash Design to System Solutions

As a NAND developer and manufacturer, Micron is in a unique position to apply proprietary management algorithms to its RealSSD portfolio that yield tremendous performance gains and maintain quality control. Micron continues to push NAND process geometries the company is currently at 25nm with visibility into several more generations which brings great benefits to solid-state storage applications including greater capacity and more cost-effective designs.

OWC Mercury Legacy Pro SandForce Based IDE/ATA SSD for Mac and PC Notebooks

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced its new Mercury Legacy Pro Solid State Drive (SSD) line as the first and fastest SandForce processor based SSD available for pre-Intel PowerPC based Mac notebooks, PCs, and other notebook/laptop computers that utilize an internal 2.5" sized IDE/ATA drive. This announcement establishes OWC as the most comprehensive US manufacturer of OWC Mercury Legacy Proindustry leading SandForce processor based SSDs available today with OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD models available for nearly every Mac and PC produced over the past decade. OWC will be demonstrating the new Mercury Legacy Pro and other first-to-market OWC Mercury Pro SSDs in booth #3935, LVCC North Hall, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fastest 2.5" IDE/ATA Drive Available for Legacy Notebooks/Laptops

With performance up to 41x faster than today's traditional hard drives, the OWC Mercury Legacy Pro offers users of Mac and PC notebook, laptop, and computers that utilize an internal 2.5" sized IDE/ATA drive the fastest internal drive performance available today. It eliminates tedious drive spin up wait time and delayed system responsiveness by providing near instant data access, system boots, and app loads.

Four Models Starting at $199.99 MSRP

The new OWC Mercury Legacy Pro is available immediately in four capacities compatible with pre-Intel PowerPC based Mac PowerBooks and iBooks; as well as PCs and other notebook/laptop computers that utilize an internal 2.5" sized IDE/ATA drive:

  • 40 GB Mercury Legacy Pro, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $TBA
  • 60 GB Mercury Legacy Pro, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $199.99
  • 120 GB Mercury Legacy Pro, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $299.99
  • 240 GB Mercury Legacy Pro, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $579.99

Doesn't Slow Down with Use Like Ordinary SSDs

Ordinary SSDs offer fast read/write performance during first initial uses, but then experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. Independent simulation tests by leading drive performance experts Mac Performance Guide confirm OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD's ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy long term usage of the drive and without dependency on less than effective OS TRIM management.

Up to 100x Greater Data Protection

Utilizing SandForce DuraClass technology, the OWC Mercury Legacy Pro is able to provide up to 100x higher data protection than provided by ordinary SSDs as well as leading enterprise class hard disk drives. By combining the highest level of Error Correction Code (ECC) and SandForce RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology along with 7% over provisioning, the Mercury Legacy Pro provides RAID like data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.

"The Mercury Legacy Pro SSD line is like a performance supercharger for older notebook and laptop users," says Larry O'Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. "It can really wake up that trusty machine and extend its usefulness at a fraction of the cost of a new computer."

OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express High Performance SSD for 2010 MacBook Air Up to 22% Faster Than Factory SSD

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) announces its new Mercury Aura Pro Express Solid State Drive (SSD) line is the first high performance SSD available on the market for pre-ordering for all 2010 Apple MacBook Air models. This announcement establishes OWC as the most comprehensive US manufacturer of industry leading SandForce processor based SSDs available today with OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD OWC Mercury Aura Pro Expressmodels available for nearly every Mac and PC produced over the past decade. OWC will be demonstrating the new Mercury Aura Pro Express and other first-to-market OWC Mercury Pro SSDs in booth #3935, LVCC North Hall, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada.

More Speed, Capacity, and Options than Factory SSD

The OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express offers owners of and those interested in the 2010 MacBook Air models a SSD upgrade path that delivers higher performance, functionality, and reliability. With peak data rates of 275 MB/s, the Mercury Aura Pro Express offers 22% higher speed than factory installed SSDs. The OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express is available in three sizes -180 GB, 240 GB, and 360 GB for more upgrade choices and nearly 3x higher data storage/backup capacity than factory SSD options when compared to 11.1" model factory options up to 128 GB and 13" model factory options up to only 256 GB.

Three Models Starting at $499.99 MSRP

The new OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express is available immediately for pre-ordering in three capacities compatible with all 11.1" and 13.3" 2010 MacBook Air models:

  • 180 GB Mercury Aura Pro Express, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $499.99
  • 240 GB Mercury Aura Pro Express, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $579.99
  • 360 GB Mercury Aura Pro Express, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $1179.99

OWC is planning initial retail shipments of Mercury Aura Pro Express orders to begin on/around Wednesday, January 12th.

Doesn't Slow Down with Use Like Ordinary SSDs

Ordinary SSDs offer fast read/write performance during first initial uses, but then experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. Independent simulation tests by leading drive performance experts Mac Performance Guide confirm OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD's ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy long term usage of the drive and without dependency on less than effective OS TRIM management.

Up to 100x Greater Data Protection

Utilizing SandForce DuraClass technology, the OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express is able to provide up to 100x higher data protection than provided by ordinary SSDs as well as leading enterprise class hard disk drives. By combining the highest level of Error Correction Code (ECC) and SandForce RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology along with 7% over provisioning, the Mercury Aura Pro Express provides RAID like data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.

"It's very satisfying to continue a storied tradition of being the first manufacturer to offer Mac users an upgrade path to get the most from their machine," says Larry O'Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. "Now thanks to the Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD, 2010 MacBook Air owners and those interested in buying this machine can upgrade for higher capacity and performance when they need it."

OWC Mercury Aura Pro MBA SandForce Processor Based SSD for Pre-2010 MacBook Air Models

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) announces its new Mercury Aura Pro MBA Solid State Drive (SSD) line as the first high performance SandForce processor based SSD available for all 2008-2009 Apple MacBook Air models. This announcement establishes OWC as the most comprehensive US manufacturer of industry leading SandForce processor based SSDs available today with OWC Mercury brand SSD OWC Mercury Aura Promodels available for nearly every Mac and PC produced over the past decade. OWC will be demonstrating the new Mercury Aura Pro MBA and other first-to-market OWC Mercury Pro SSDs in booth #3935, LVCC North Hall, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Go Faster, Store More Data Than New MacBook Air Models

With peak data rates of 275 MB/s, the OWC Mercury Aura Pro MBA offers owners of 2008-2009 MacBook Air models up to 41x faster performance than the factory original hard drive, over 3x faster performance than the factory installed 128 GB SSD, and 20% faster speed than even the latest 2010 MacBook Air models. Plus, with four models to choose from 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB - the OWC Mercury Aura Pro MBA provides up to 4x the storage capacity compared to the factory optional 128 GB SSD and nearly 2x more storage capacity than the largest SSD offered in 2010 MacBook Air models.

Four Models Starting at $199.99 MSRP

The new OWC Mercury Aura Pro MBA is available immediately in four capacities compatible with all 13.3" 2008-2009 MacBook Air models:

  • 60 GB Mercury Aura Pro MBA, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $199.99
  • 120 GB Mercury Aura Pro MBA, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $299.99
  • 240 GB Mercury Aura Pro MBA, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $579.99
  • 480 GB Mercury Aura Pro MBA, 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $TBA

Doesn't Slow Down with Use Like Ordinary SSDs

Ordinary SSDs offer fast read/write performance during first initial uses, but then experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. Independent simulation tests by leading drive performance experts Mac Performance Guide confirm OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD's ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy long term usage of the drive and without dependency on less than effective OS TRIM management.

Up to 100x Greater Data Protection

Utilizing SandForce DuraClass technology, the OWC Mercury Aura Pro MBA is able to provide up to 100x higher data protection than provided by ordinary SSDs as well as leading enterprise class hard disk drives. By combining the highest level of Error Correction Code (ECC) and SandForce RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology along with 7% over provisioning, the Mercury Aura Pro MBA provides RAID like data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.

Videos Prove the OWC SSD Performance Difference

Based on the popularity of its original Mercury Extreme SSD shootout video series, OWC created new videos to demonstrate how much faster a Mercury Aura Pro MBA equipped 2008-2009 MacBook Air 1.83 GHz model is versus much faster processor based machines, including a 2010 MacBook Pro i7. To view the side-by-side comparison videos, visit https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Aura_SSD

"One of OWC's core missions is to help consumers maximize their technology investment," says Larry O'Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. "By offering faster performance and higher capacity than provided by 2010 models, the Mercury Aura Pro MBA SSD enables 2008-2009 MacBook Air owners to experience better than new performance at a significantly lower cost than a new machine."

OWC Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" SandForce Based SATA SSD for Netbooks and Subnotebooks

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced its new Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" Solid State Drive (SSD) line as the first and fastest SandForce processor based SSD available for netbooks, subnotebooks, and other computers that utilize an internal 1.8" sized SATA drive. This announcement establishes OWC as the most comprehensive US manufacturer of industry leading SandForce processor based Mercury Aura Pro SSDSSDs available today with OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD models available for nearly every Mac and PC produced over the past decade. OWC will be demonstrating the new Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" and other first-to-market OWC Mercury Pro SSDs in booth #3935, LVCC North Hall, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fastest 1.8" Drive Available Plus up to 16x Higher Capacity

With peak data rates of 275 MB/s, the OWC Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" offers netbook, subnotebook, and users of other computers that utilize an internal 1.8" sized SATA drive the fastest internal drive performance available today. Plus, with five models to choose from 40 GB, 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB - the OWC Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" provides up to 16x the storage capacity compared to factory installed hard drives.

Five Models Starting at $179.99 MSRP

The new OWC Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" is available immediately in five capacities compatible with netbooks, subnotebooks, and other computers that utilize an internal 1.8" sized SATA drive:

  • 40 GB Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" with 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $TBA
  • 60 GB Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" with 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $179.99
  • 120 GB Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" with 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $279.99
  • 240 GB Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" with 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $549.99
  • 480 GB Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" with 7% over provisioning, 3-year warranty, $TBA

Doesn't Slow Down with Use Like Ordinary SSDs

Ordinary SSDs offer fast read/write performance during first initial uses, but then experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. Independent simulation tests by leading drive performance experts Mac Performance Guide confirm OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD's ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy long term usage of the drive and without dependency on less than effective OS TRIM management.

Up to 100x Greater Data Protection

Utilizing SandForce DuraClass technology, the OWC Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" is able to provide up to 100x higher data protection than provided by ordinary SSDs as well as leading enterprise class hard disk drives. By combining the highest level of Error Correction Code (ECC) and SandForce RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology along with 7% over provisioning, the Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" provides RAID like data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.

"The Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" SSD line is a performance game-changer for netbook and subnotebook users," says Larry O'Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. "By offering the fastest drive speeds available with the industry's first SandForce processor based 1.8" SATA SSD and storage capacity up to 16x higher than factory drives, the Mercury Aura Pro 1.8" SSD line delivers big and measurable gains to these smallest footprint computers."

Five models: 40 GB, 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB offer up to 16x higher capacity starting at $179.99

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