updated 04:16 pm EDT, Fri June 29, 2012
Drive plus case bundles repurpose factory SSD for external storage
Upgrade vendor OWC has released a combination SSD upgrade and external case for 2010 and 2011 MacBook air notebooks. The Mercury Aura bundle includes a Aura Pro Express SSD and Aura Envoy external housing. After installing the Aura Pro Express SSD, the factory SSD is converted into external storage by installing the drive into the Aura Envoy case, completing the upgrade.
The Aura Pro Express SSD is claimed to offer nearly eight times the storage capacity and 68 percent faster performance than the Apple-installed drive. The Aura Envoy case is bus-powered, needing no external power supply or multiple USB connector to run the drive. The combination of installing the new drive and installing the old drive in the case is guided by a step-by-step OWC tutorial video. Not including the time for data migration, the entire upgrade process is said to take less than 15 minutes.
Four bundles are available for the 2011 MacBook Air line, ranging from 120GB with the Mercury Aura Envoy case for $200, through 480GB also with the case for $800. The 2010 MacBook Air line has three options that include the external case, with a 180GB drive for $270 or a 480GB variant for $780. The Mercury Aura Envoy case is available separately for $48.