After MacTrast first voiced concerns about the restore process for MacBooks shipped post-Lion, Apple responded by issuing Lion Restore USB keys to affected users. These drives have now started shipping. We’ve gotten ahold of one at MacTrast. Here’s what we found:
The drives are incredibly tiny – one of the smallest stick-form USB drives I have seen. It’s also incredibly thin – just thick enough to house a single-sided USB connector. The drives appear to only have a capacity of around 1GB.
Bringing my 2011 MacBook Pro into the boot selector uncovered the fact that the drive even shows up as a USB Restore drive, complete with a fancy icon shaped like the drive, at the most basic of levels on the Mac.
A further point of interest is that, on my 2011 MacBook Pro that cam pre-loaded with Lion, this USB drive installs build 11A511a of Lion (the same build that the machine originally shipped with). Creating my own restore disk and using it to re-install Lion, on the other hand, resulted in a Lion build of 11A511.
Additionally, this appears to be the same drive that Apple is offering to users without broadband internet for $69, making it a pretty nice deal for those that got these from AppleCare. Shortly after beginning to ship these drives, Apple released a free utility allowing you to create your own restore USB key using any flash drive with at least 1GB of capacity.
Has anyone else gotten one of these? Let us know!