Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD Looks Like a Great MacBook Air Upgrade

Other World Computing (OWC) has an 11″ MacBook Air outfitted with a Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD at MacWorld Expo 2011. An SSD in a new MacBook Air isn’t all that surprising of course, but how about one with a 360GB SSD?

One of the most limiting factors of the new MacBook Air line is the relatively small SSDs. While 500GB of capacity is pretty standard fare on notebooks with traditional hard drives these days, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are much more expensive per gigabyte. The 13″ MacBook Air can be outfitted with a 256GB SSD, which is big enough for many users, but the 11″ MacBook Air can only be had with a 128GB SSD.

The OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD is available in 180GB, 240GB and 360GB capacities. OWC claims that they perform up to 22% faster than the stock SSD that comes in MacBook Airs, but users probably won’t notice the difference in everyday tasks since the stock drive is so fast to begin with. The most likely reason MacBook Air owners will order one of these drives is to get enough room to hoard their multimedia files on Apple’s most portable notebooks.

At MacWorld, OWC let people take a look at one of the drives up close. It’s not all that different than the blade style SSD that’s already in Apple fans’ MacBook Airs.

So what’s stopping the masses from clamoring for the OWC Mecrury Aura Pro Express SSD? The price. As much as many of us would like to bump up our MacBook Airs’ storage capacity, these drives are too expensive for most. Unless you have a really good reason to not put your media library on a diet, or a generous boss that wants to foot the bill, it’s tough to justify the cost. The 180GB SSD is available now for $499.99. The 240GB version is $579 and is the sweet spot of the bunch in terms of price. The 360GB SSD is a whopping $1,179.99.

The OWC MacBook Air SSD upgrade drives will come with a kit, which includes all the tools you need to perform the swap. The new MacBook Air uses a new kind of screw that’s impossible to unscrew without a very rare screwdriver.

The drives are available for order and pre-order over at

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