Big Storage-Small Size

July 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

As a “BackUp Guru” I am always looking for more and better external drives that I can use to back up my system and/or my images, in case of disaster. And because I like to travel, I am also looking for external drives that are small and lightweight so I can keep a back up with me. 

I just found a fantastic solution to both situations: A very small, very lightweight, portable external drive that fits both those requirements and in addition is very fast! 

The new Other World Computer Envoy Pro Mini - the name is much larger than the device - looks like a larger than average thumb drive but has the capability of an external back up drive. And it is super fast because it is an SSD (Solid State Device) as opposed to an external hard drive with moving parts. The 240GB model can hold not only a trip’s worth of RAW images, but also a minimal boot system  - so I could start up my laptop in case of an internal hard drive failure. OWC also makes a 128 GB model, which would still hold quite a few images. 

It uses a USB 3.0 interface but is backward compatible with USB 2.

Does the OWC Envoy Pro Mini read and write data as quickly (433MB/s) as the makers claim? I am not going to compare advertised speed to bench tests - there are plenty of internet sites to do that. I am more interested in how it works for my purposes - that is as a lightweight, super small, storage device I can stick in my pocket for travel.

Still I was curious to see if it really would be faster at copying data both to and from the computer than my previous travel drives.

I plugged the Envoy Pro mini in and copied 32 GB of Raw images and then repeated the same exact task using the external portable hard drive I normally take for travel. And both were using USB 3. 

In my unscientific comparison the OWC Envoy Pro Mini was several minutes faster at copying the same relatively small amount of data to and from my laptop as compared to my normal external storage drives. So, I consider the OWC Envoy Pro Mini fast!

As for it’s size and weight, it is larger at 31/2 inches long than most standard thumb drives, and it weighs about 1.5 ounces. The Envoy Pro Mini is encased in a solid aluminum housing which not only protects the drive but helps dissipate heat. This drive does feel warm to the touch when it is working, which is to be expected with the amount of data moving to or from the drive. As a test, I ran it continuously overnight, again an unscientific test, and although it was warm to the touch, it never stopped working and cooled down immediately once I disconnected it. It even comes with a 3 year limited warranty and of course is both Mac and PC compatible.

I have now changed my set of digital travel tools and my recommendations. My latest travel solution?Travel with at least 2 (or more) of these Envoy Pro Mini thumb drives so you can have two back ups of all your travel images and more without adding weight to or taking up space in your carry on bags!

Check it out:  http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/ENVMKU3S240/


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