If you purchased a 2011 MacBook Air, there are some good sides and some bad sides to it. The worst side is the fact that you can’t get a SATA 6Gbps SSD. Given that BSN* doesn’t come with a rose tinted sunglasses (unless you like to see the site’s carbon weave through Elton John glasses), we consider that design lock-in as am unforgiveable one. Luckily, 3rd party market has a player that can offer desktop performance inside Apple’s thinnest notebook.

OWC Mercury Aura Express SATA 6G SSD for MacBook Air
OWC Mercury Aura Express SATA 6G SSD for MacBook Air

We have received news that Other World Computing launched a micro version of their award-winning Mercury series. For us, it is kinda interesting that OWC offers faster SSDs than vast majority of SSD players on the market, including household names of the PC business.

Now, that performance is available in SATA Express form factor as well. OWC launched the Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G at full speed, the 6Gbps i.e. theoretical maximum of 585MB/s.
 
Mercury Aura Pro Express combines SandForce 2200-series controller with Tier 1/Grade A NAND memory (we experienced several SSD’s kicking the bucket over the past 12 months over Tier 2 NAND), resulting in fastest storage for MacBook Air. Read and write, as well as sustained transfer speeds are all rated above 500MB/s, which is significantly better than 292MB/s offered by the stock drives.

OWC has two models available, the 120GB ($350 minus one cent) and 240GB ($600 minus one cent). We’re going to report about the performance in real world shortly, as one of the drives is on its way to Bright Labs. Can OWC deliver the performance they’re known for in the smallest package available? We’ll know soon enough.