Replacing hard drives in laptops isn't new, and neither is converting old drives into external backup drives. Yours Truly did both those things about a month ago, taking my MacBook's stock 80GB drive, replacing it with a 250GB drive, and then taking the old drive and adding it to a bus-powered 2.5-inch enclosure to make a portable 80GB HD I can take anywhere.
Other World Computing has new kits that combine both a new drive and an external enclosure, as well as all the tools you'll need to do the upgrade and build the external.
What's great is the kits don't just include HDD upgrades; OWC also gives the option of upgrading to a high-performance SSD drive. For those with an older MacBook (or, indeed, any 2.5-inch SATA-equipped laptop) who are looking for a speed boost, $275 gives you a 120GB SSD, an enclosure for your stock hard drive, the appropriate mini screwdrivers, a USB cable, and a stylish, sophisticated (we're assuming) sleeve.
But that's not the only option; indeed the SSD kits go all the way up to 240GB (for $570), and the standard HDD kits top out with a 5,200rpm 1TB drive ($154), or a faster 7,200rpm 750GB drive ($130), any of which would make a 2-year-old laptop last a little longer.
Those are all good prices for a kit, but I'd like to know this: Why didn't anyone think of this sooner (that we know of)?