First 3rd Party SSD Upgrade for New MBA Announced

Apple's new MacBook Air eschews a standard SSD format, meaning it doesn't have the SSD fit into a drive bay. Rather, the SSD plugs into a standard mini PCI express socket, similar to a stick of RAM. That said, third party upgrade options will be limited, although the first third-party solution has been announced.

PhotoFast has announced a 256GB option for the 11.6" MacBook Air, which tops out at 128GB. Their kit uses a SandForce controller, which is currently the "in thing" for SSD manufacturers in terms of speed.

That's where the PhotoFast upgrade kills the standard Apple SSD. The company says the upgrade will give users speeds of 250MB/s for sequential reads / writes, with a 30 percent speed increase from the standard MacBook Air SSD overall. Actual testing of the MacBook Air SSD showed 150-160MB/s for sequential reads / writes.

PhotoFast also plans on offering 64GB and 128GB upgrades as well. Also, PhotoFast will allow you to convert your MacBook Air's existing SSD card into a USB storage device by including an adapter with the kit. As a bonus, the adapter is not even USB 2.0; it's USB 3.0.

No pricing or availability has been announced as yet.  However, standard 256GB SSDs run from $500 - $700 or higher, depending on speed and other factors.