MCE Technologies announced the immediate availability of the OptiBay Hard Drive, a replacement for the optical drive in Apple MacBooks and 15-inch MacBook Pros on Friday. The drive takes the place of the internal optical drive and has exactly the same physical dimensions and data connectivity as the original optical drive. It is recognized by the system, as a standard hard disk and can be managed with Appleis Disk Utility software.
Capacities up to 160 GB are available.
According to the announcement, "The MCE OptiBay Hard Drives feature rotational speeds of 5400RPM, with 7200RPM mechanisms available at certain capacities. Like the internal hard drive, the OptiBay Hard Drive responds to S.M.A.R.T. status monitoring by the Mac OS to help forewarn of impending disk failure. Battery life of the laptop is typically affected by only 10 to 15 percent as power consumption and current draw fall below that of the original optical drive and is helped even further by advanced power management built into each OptiBay drive."
In addition, MCE provides options for the user to purchase alternative optical drives because the factory-installed optical drive cannot be converted to an external drive. The pricing depends on the size of the hard disk and speed selected and ranges from $329 for an 8X Superdrive plus 80 GB/5400 RPM internal drive up to $479 for a 160 GB/5400 RPM drive.