Other World Computing announced today the OWC Mercury Aura Pro as the industry’s first high-performance Solid State Drive upgrade for 2012 MacBook Air computers. Available in four sizes — 120GB, 180GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities starting at $167.99 — the Mercury Aura Pro utilizes award-winning SandForce technologies and Tier 1 Synchronous NAND to deliver sustained data rates over 500MB/s.
Provides Future Upgrade Path
The Mercury Aura Pro offers owners of and those interested in the 2012 MacBook Air models the ability to upgrade the SSD when they need more storage and backup capacity. This flexibility is especially important for owners of the base model 11″ MacBook Air with the factory 64GB SSD and the 13″ model with 128GB capacity SSD. Now, instead of being “factory locked” at the base model capacity configurations, owners can add up to 8x more capacity with a 480GB Mercury Aura Pro SSD.
Lower Cost Immediate Upgrade
For 2012 MacBook Air owners wanting to immediately upgrade their machines to the maximum capacity, the OWC Mercury Aura Pro offers cost savings up to $255 compared to similarly sized factory options. For example, there are two choices for upgrading the 11″ MacBook Air to maximum capacity:
Add the $800 factory 512GB (500GB usable space) option to the $1099 128GB MacBook Air model. Total cost $1899 and no ownership of the stock 128GB flash module.
Add the $644.99 480GB Mercury Aura Pro to the $999 64GB MacBook Air model. Total cost $1643.99 and continued benefit of re-using the 64GB factory flash module as an external drive with a sleek USB 3.0 bus-powered OWC Envoy enclosure to be released at a future date.
Four Models Starting At $167.99 MSRP
The new OWC Mercury Aura Pro is available in four capacities compatible with all 11″ and 13″ 2012 MacBook Air models:
- 120GB Mercury Aura Pro Express with 7% over provisioning & three year warranty – $167.99
- 180GB Mercury Aura Pro Express with 7% over provisioning & three year warranty – $224.99
- 240GB Mercury Aura Pro Express with 7% over provisioning & three year warranty – $319.99
- 480GB Mercury Aura Pro Express with 7% over provisioning & three year warranty – $644.99
The Mercury Aura Pro is available immediately in the 240GB capacity; while the 120, 180, and 480GB models can be pre-ordered with shipping expected on/around August 6. All Mercury Aura Pro SSDs come complete with all required installation tools and instructions to make this an easy DIY upgrade.
The Fast SSD for Everyday Use
Several leading technology sites have noted the Mercury Aura Pro’s outstanding performance potential compared to the Apple factory SSDs. Electronista.com pointed out the “new and improved” Apple SSDs reach read speeds of 461MB per second and write speeds of 364MB per second, while the Mercury Aura Pro is rated at up to 500MB/s. Expert SSD industry source TheSSDReview.com found LSI SandForce Driven™ based SSDs offer “excellent performance” over 500MB/s and that these SSDs “excel in highly compressible data testing which is the bread and butter of typical consumer use.”
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 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 is able to provide up to 100X higher data protection than 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 provides RAID-like data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.
“OWC was the first independent manufacturer of SSD upgrades for the MacBook Air and we’re pleased to once again be the first and only upgrade option for the new 2012 machines,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “Beyond being the only upgrade available, the Mercury Aura Pro SSD carries on the OWC tradition of offering best in class performance with significant cost savings compared to similar capacity factory options.”
Editor’s note: The press release does state that the accompanying OWC Envoy enclosure will be released at a future date – it is not available at this time. The product’s development is a top priority of ours and we are anticipating that they will be available before end of year.