OWC has replacement SSD blades for Apple's MacBook Air called the Mercury Aura Pro and Mercury Aura Pro Express. The product is a 3Gb or 6Gb SSD upgrade users can install to boost both performance and capacity. Once an upgrade is complete, however, what is one to do with these blades, which resemble memory sticks rather than 2.5-inch drives?
OWC first gave us a sneak peak of the Mercury Aura Envoy earlier this year at CES. Essentially it is an external enclosure designed to house one of these SSD blades. It's also designed to match the MacBook Air, both with aluminum casing and a wedge form. When demonstrated, they had USB 3.0 interface, which was puzzling at the time. Thunderbolt seemed a natural fit but the interface is still slow to arrive on the 3rd party market. For Mac users, USB 3.0 was pretty ho-hum with SSD on USB 2.0 is nothing special.
OWC apparently had a vision as Apple introduced USB 3.0 into its Macs earlier this month. On the heels of that announcement, OWC is launching the Mercury Aura Envoy. The company is selling multiple storage configurations including just a $47.99 enclosure. The enclosure is compatible with 2010 and 2011 MacBook Air blades, and presumably there will be an enclosure soon supporting the 2012 variation. Those looking for instant external SSD storage can pick one up loaded up to 480 GB. Pricing starts out at $199.99 for $120 GB, and that 480 GB model tops out at $779.99.
Below you can see the preview of the Envoy at CES. Also, if you're curious to see how a 6Gb SSD runs on USB 3.0, check out IGM's USB 3.0 benchmark video.
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