Hard drive replaces PB, MacBook Pro optical drive

MCE Technologies on Tuesday announced it’s shipping its OptiBay Hard Drive for the MacBook Pro and PowerBook G4. Developed for laptop users who need as much internal storage space as possible, the drive is designed to work along with the original internal drive, replacing the internal optical drive. Prices range from $249 to $399 depending on capacity and speed.

The OptiBay hard drive was designed with the exact dimensions and same data connectivity as an Apple laptop internal optical drive, but is recognized as a standard hard drive and can be used with Apple’s Drive Setup utility. MCE estimates that battery life is affected by about 10 to 15 percent with the OptiBay in place.

MCE sells OptiBay drive configurations in 80GB, 100GB, 120GB and 160GB capacities, for $249, $279, $329 and $399 respectively. All drives operate at 5400RPM. A 100GB 7200RPM drive is also available $379.

MCE includes BounceBack Express backup software, a FireWire enclosure for the original optical drive, instructions and tools.

The OptiBay ships immediately for the 17-inch MacBook Pro and PowerBook G4. A version for the 15-inch MacBook Pro is coming on October 30, 2006.

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