Convenient storage in a compact portable tough case.
Earlier this year I decided to upgrade my main workstation computer from a 2018 MacBook Pro to an M1 Mac mini. This was quite a culture shock to me because I opted to trade my MBP in for credit toward the Mac mini. That meant I wouldn’t have a laptop for the first time in more than a decade. I have a 12-inch iPad Pro which works great for a lot of tasks, but for me, it’s not a full-time laptop replacement. For several months, I was fine operating off of just the Mac mini – until we took a long road trip and I wanted to be able to edit photos while we were out of town. So, I picked up an M1 MacBook Air. Since Apple upgraded the specs on both the Mac mini and MacBook Air, both machines were more than capable of running the system the way I needed it to be run. The only thing I didn’t have with the MacBook Air was enough storage. Fortunately, in late September, OWC announced the release of the Envoy Pro Elektron – a portable mini SSD that is designed to work with Apple’s mobile devices like the iPad mini, iPad, iPad Pro, and iPhone 13. Because of its compact size, I also felt it would work great with my MacBook Air.
The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron is the fastest, toughest, mini-sized, universal, portable SSD available. It features speeds up to 1011MB/s (2x faster than other portable SSDs) and USB-C connectivity. The device is rugged. It has an IP67 rating and is considered dust-proof, waterproof, and crushproof. The MSRP starts at $99 for the 240GB size and is available in four different capacities – 240GB, 480GB, 1.0TB, 2.0TB. The hard drive works with advanced NVMe technology to deliver superior performance with built-in OWC reliability. The drive has a status LED built into the case for at-a-glance activity status and power notification. The hard drive is bootable so users have the option to install an OS or work with alternate OSes. The case is built with aircraft-grade aluminum for silent, throttle-free, breakneck performance. It also helps to dissipate heat. The hard drive comes with a USB-C cable that features a USB-A adapter for universal connectivity between devices. The Envoy Pro Elektron also comes with a 3-year OWC limited warranty.
The Envoy Pro Elektron SSD comes in a small, dark box. The colors are synonymous with OWC (dark blue, grays, and black) and there is an image of the device on the front. I rather appreciate this type of packaging because it is clear what is inside the box. The capacity is identified on the front of the box by a sticker. I’m guessing that all the Elektron models have the same box, but are differentiated using this capacity sticker. When you open the box, you find the hard drive, which is TINY, inside a small plastic sleeve and surrounded by thick foam. Beneath the hard drive is the USB-C cable with a USB-A adapter and the quick start guide. There is also a card that says, “OWC Drive Guide Formatting Utility.” This card has instructions on it for how to format the hard drive the first time you use it and lets the user know that there it’s a formatting utility on the hard drive itself.
When you first plug the drive in, an icon appears on your desktop that reads, “OWC Setup.” When you double click the icon, the drive’s finder window opens and you can see the drive guide for the Mac and one for Windows. There is also a “ReadMe” file. I decided to look at the specs of the drive using the Disk Utility on the Mac before I formatted it. I was curious if you had to use the OWC Setup or if you could format it through other means. As it turns out the formatting option is available for the Elektron while the OWC Setup is still on it, but it shows the total capacity of the hard drive is 8.59GB and not 1TB. So, I figured the software on the SSD was blocking the full capacity of the drive and therefore, I didn’t attempt formatting the hard drive through the Disk Utility. The OWC Setup doesn’t take but a few clicks to get through and then the drive is completely unlocked with 960GB (just under 1TB) available for use.
When I test the performance of hard drives, I run two utility apps – Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and AJA System Test Lite. Both testing options showed a write speed of around 823MB/s. The Blackmagic test had a result of 831MB/s for the read speed while AJA had a result of 773MB/s. As a real-world performance test, I transferred a file folder that was holding 1.71GB of files from my computer over to the Elektron. The transfer only took 7.23 seconds. That ends up being a transfer rate of 0.23GB/s. During these tests, the hard drive was a little warm to the touch, but not hot.
The Envoy Pro Elektron SSD is the perfect companion for mobile devices and even laptops. I’ve been beyond thrilled to have this little drive by my side while I travel. It works great and it can literally fit anywhere. It’s very convenient storage in a super tough package.