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Second drive bay for MBPs, PowerBooks

updated 08:55 am EDT, Tue October 17, 2006

MCE OptiBay Hard Drive

MCE Technologies today announced it has started shipping its new OptiBay Hard Drive for the Apple's MacBook Pro and PowerBook G4. The MCE OptiBay optical bay hard drive adds a second internal hard drive to MacBook Pro or PowerBook G4 systems, taking the place of the laptop's internal optical drive (SuperDrive or Combo Drive). The MCE OpitBay Hard Drive is available in 80GB, 100GB, 120GB and 160GB capacities, oofering users an unprecedented 320GB of unformatted internal hard disk capacity in a MacBook Pro or PowerBook G4 system. The MCE OptiBay Hard Drive is engineered to have the exact dimensions and data-connectivity of the standard Apple laptop internal opticaldrive, but is recognized as a standard hard drive--all initialization, partitioning, and even RAID setup managed by Apple's Disk Utility program. The company is also providing an external FireWire slim-line enclosure to all users to connect their removed SuperDrive/Combo drive.

In its most basic configuration, the OptiBay Hard Drive can be set up as a single volume for up to an additional 160GB of general storage space. In more advanced configurations, OptiBay Hard Drive users can take advantage of many features not readily available on an Apple laptop such as the ability to create high-performance RAID 0 (striped) or RAID 1 (mirrored) configurations using entirely onboard hard drives. The onboard drives can also be combined so they appear to the system to be a single very large hard drive.

"The OptiBay Hard Drive was created for the many users, especially media creation professionals, whose need for as much onboard hard drive capacity is far greater than their need for an onboard optical drive which sometimes gets very little use," stated Arnold Ramirez, president of MCE. "There are many options as to how the OptiBay drive can be used: as a regular hard drive, as a scratch disk for high end video or photo editing, as part of a RAID, as a drive dedicated to booting and running Windows XP on a MacBook Pro, etc."

The MCE OptiBay Hard Drives feature rotational speeds of 5400RPM, and 7200RPM. Like the internal hard drive, the OptiBay Hard Drive responds to S.M.A.R.T. status monitoring by the Mac OS to help forewarn of impending disk failure. The company said that battery life of the laptop "is typically affected by only 10 to 15 percent as power consumption falls below that of the original optical drive and is further aided by advanced power management features built into each OptiBay drive."

The FireWire enclosure provided with the OptiBay Hard Drive enables the original bare optical drive to be easily converted into a slim, portable, external FireWire drive, which can be used to load software, boot the system, and is compatible with iTunes, iDVD, and Finder Burning for burning CDs and DVDs.

Suggested retail pricing for the MCE OptiBay Hard Drive is $250 for an 80GB/5400RPM drive, $280 for a 100GB/5400RPM drive, $330 for a 120GB/5400RPM drive, $400 for a 160GB/5400RPM drive, and $380 for a 100GB/7200RPM drive. All models include the MCE OptiBay Hard Drive, BounceBack Express backup software, a FireWire enclosure for the original optical drive, installation instructions, installation toolkit, and owner's manual. The OptiBay Hard Drive comes with a three-year warranty. The MCE OptiBay Hard Drive is available for immediate shipment for the MacBook Pro 17-inch and PowerBook G4. A version for the MacBook Pro 15-inch is scheduled to ship October 30, 2006.




by MacNN Staff

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