OptiBay adds second drive inside MacBook, 15-inch Pro

MCE Technologies on Friday announced that it’s shipping its OptiBay for MacBooks and 15-inch MacBook Pros. The OptiBay is a second internal hard disk drive that fits in place of the laptop’s internal optical drive, for users who need more storage capacity or better internal hard disk drive performance or reliability than one drive mechanism can support. Prices start at $329, and that includes an external optical drive to replace what you’re removing.

The OptiBay hard drive has the same dimensions and data connection as the internal optical drive, but it is, in fact, a hard disk. It’s compatible with Apple’s own Disk Utility software and can be set up as a second drive volume or as a RAID Level 0 (striped) or Level 1 (mirrored) system, to provide either better performance or constant backup.

MCE began offering OptiBay configurations for PowerBook G4 and MacBook Pro 17-inch models in October. This announcement brings the kit to MacBooks and 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

Capacities range from 80GB to 160GB; most mechanisms use rotational speeds of 5400RPM. MCE also offers a 100GB 7200RPM mechanism for $459. Those prices include a complete external USB 2.0 8x SuperDrive with double layer support, so you don’t lose functionality for your laptop.

If you don’t need or want an optical drive, you can subtract $100 from the price, and MCE also offers an external 16x DVD burner that uses USB 2.0 and FireWire for an additional $20.

Included with the drive is installation instructions, a toolkit and owner’s manual. You can also pay MCE to do the conversion itself, if you can ship them your laptop.

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