Add SATA2, Firewire or Gig Ethernet to your new MacBook Air with Sonnet Thunderbolt ExpressCard adapter

If you aren’t interested in the $1000 Apple Thunderbolt display but still want to add some speedy data transfer to your new MacBook Air, Sonnet has a pretty good solution.  Shipping in October, Sonnet’s Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter
[ECHO-E34] will set you back $150 but give you access via ExpressCard to the faster data transfers including eSATA, USB 3, Firewire 800, Gig Ethernet or even speedier access to SDXC and CF cards.

There will be more of these “Thunderbolt docks” coming before the holidays.

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Kingston 256GB Internal 2.5″ SSD: $280

From 9to5Toys.com

Amazon offers the Kingston SSDNow V-Series 256GB Serial ATA 3Gbp/s 2.5″ Internal Solid State Drive (SSD), model no. SV100S2/256GZ, for $299.99. The $20 mail-in rebate cuts it to $279.99. With free shipping, that’s $1.09/GB, and the lowest total price we could find by $128. (It’s also the best price we’ve seen for an SSD of this size since Black Friday) Rebate expires July 31.  Reviews here and here.


AnandTech benchmarks
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2011 Macbook Air SSD speeds are not consistent

TldToday has discovered in the recently released Macbook Airs speed is not consistent among SSDs. While running tests, TldToday found that the 128GB Samsung SSD in the 11-inch MacBookAir scored 246 MB/s write and 264 MB/s read speeds, but when he switched to the 13-inch model speeds dropped to 156 MB/s and 208 MB/s using a 128GB Toshiba SSD. Engadget ran similar tests and confirmed Tld’s findings. In the video above you can find how to check if your MBA has the faster Samsung, or the slower Toshiba. Let us know if you see speed differences in normal usage.

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New MacBook Air and Mac Mini best prices

From 9to5Toys:

We noted before the release of the new Apple products that it often pays to wait a week before buying Apple’s new products.  Not only don’t you get “the first ones off the line”, but prices drop significantly over the first week.

A number of Apple Authorized Retailers/affiliates are new selling Apple’s new MacBook Airs and Minis at prices up to $100 lower than Apple.  MacMall and Amazon appear to be the lowest.

MacMall has the MacBook Air for the following prices (note: $30 more is taken off at checkout):

1.60GHz 11″ MacBook Air 2GB/64GB  $940.89
1.60GHz 11″ MacBook Air 4GB/128GB $1,129.07
1.70GHz 13″ MacBook Air 4GB/128GB $1,216.37
1.70GHz 13″ MacBook Air 4GB/256GB $1,502.52

 

 

Update: The MacMall deals are over.

Mac Minis are lowest at Amazon, however…

2.30GHz Core i5 Mac mini $569.00
2.50GHz Core i5 Mac mini $769.00

And the 2.00GHz Core i7 Mac mini Server is lowest –  $959.99 at MacConnection.  

For RAM upgrades, you aren’t going to do better than this 8GB for $45

Note: Best Buy will often match these prices.

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Apple Certified Refurbs: 11.6″ MacBook Airs drop to $749, Minis (with Superdrives!) drop to $469

From 9to5toys.com

Along with the new MacBook Air and Mini updates today, Apple dropped the previous Apple-Certified refurbished versions to all time lows offering $250 off yesterday’s prices.  Remember, Apple’s stock of the older models didn’t just disappear.  Many moved to “Refurb”.  Apple also includes the same 1-year warranty.

MacBook Air MC505LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz 11.6″ 64GB SSD for $749 ($80 drop)
MacBook Air MC506LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz 11.6″ 128GB SSD for $949 ($50 drop)
MacBook Air MC503LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz 13.3″ 128GB SSD for $999 ($80 drop)
MacBook Air MC504LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz 13.3″ 256GB SSD for $1,249 ($80 drop)

Compare those to the new MacBook Airs:
2.4-lb. MacBook Air 11.6″ Core i5 1.6GHz 64GB SSD for $999
2.4-lb. MacBook Air 11.6″ Core i5 1.6GHz 128GB SSD for $1,199
3-lb. MacBook Air 13.3″ Core i5 1.7GHz 128GB SSD for $1,299
3-lb. MacBook Air 13.3″ Core i5 1.7GHz 256GB SSD for $1,599


Apple Certified Minis Also saw drops (Remember, the $469, $549 models have a Superdrive and probably make better media centers  ;):

Apple Mac mini MC270LL/A Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz Desktop for $469 ($130 drop)
Apple Mac mini MC438LL/A Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz Desktop for $549 ($170 drop)
Apple Mac mini MC438LL/A Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz w/ Snow Leopard Server for $749 ($100 drop) Read more

OWC: Choose your new iMac hard drive wisely, you only get one shot

via some Dutch Dude who didn’t have any issues installing an SSD in the Hard drive Bay

According to a blog post at OWC, the new iMacs have a temperature sensor in their hard drives which will restrict replacing with non-Apple hard drives.

For the main 3.5″ SATA hard drive bay in the new 2011 machines, Apple has altered the SATA power connector itself from a standard 4-pin power configuration to a 7-pin configuration. Hard drive temperature control is regulated by a combination of this cable and Apple proprietary firmware on the hard drive itself. From our testing, we’ve found that removing this drive from the system, or even from that bay itself, causes the machine’s hard drive fans to spin at maximum speed and replacing the drive with any non-Apple original drive will result in the iMac failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).

Here’s the thing though:  What if you order an iMac without a hard drive?  One iMac option is just the SSD which is mounted on the optical drive?  Perhaps there is a way to disable fans altogether and thats what ships with SSD-only iMacs?

Clearly some more investigative work is necessary.

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