And it costs a whopping $1,580 – enough to buy you a brand new 13-inch Air with 256GB flash storage. Courtesy of Other World Computing (OWC), the Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD upgrade is being advertised as the first and only third-party solid state storage upgrade for Apple’s ultrathin notebook.

We’re not sure about that, but it’s certainly the most capacious SSD for the Air at this point. Available sizes include 180/240/360/480GB variants priced at $480/$580/$1,180/$1,580. The 480GB module is nearly twice the capacity of the flagship 13-inch MacBook Air model. OWC provides the tools necessary for installation of your SSD.

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Solid state drives have no moving parts and use memory chips to store your data.

This makes them much less prone to failure due to wear or accidental drops plus you get a significant speed bump over the mechanical hard drive.

In fact, everyday computing on the new MacBook Air feels much zippier than the top-of-the-line iMac from the previous generation.

This includes everyday tasks like booting your machine, but also an instant-on performance, launching apps, switching between tasks (especially in low memory situations) and so forth.

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