Reviews |OWC Envoy Pro Mini

OWC Envoy Pro Mini Review

OWC Envoy Pro Mini
Review

Price when reviewed

£195

$198

Our Verdict

There is something quite incredible about such a small device that can store so much data. But then, with the capacities of the latest CFExpress cards meeting this 1TB version of the OWC Envoy Pro Mini, this small stick signifies things to come.
The design is simple, taking on the usual premium USB Stick design with the ability to plug into USB A and Type-C ports. What’s different about this stick is the full metal construction and speed of the internal bus interface.
This stick doesn’t just offer huge storage but backs the capacity with blisteringly fast transfer speeds that enable you to use it as a solution for both still and video editing.

For

  • Size of a USB Key
  • USB Type A and C compatible
  • Huge capacity

Against

  • It could be easy to lose

What is the OWC Envoy Mini?

The OWC Envoy Mini is one of the smallest external hard drives on the market. So tiny that it’s closer in design to a USB key/drive/stick rather than a portable hard drive. The design is simple; a full metal exterior gives it a tough look and feel. This high-quality build should protect it from a few knocks and bashes from another kit when in the field.

A nice feature of the drive is the ability to plug directly into either a USB A or Type-C port. The rotating lid design enables a quick switch between the two. Otherwise, being a USB key, the design is simple, a metal cap protects the USB Type-C connector, and a small lanyard hole features enabling you to attach the included lanyard if needed.

OWC has designed the OWC Envoy Pro Mini to be the drive that is always with you. As such, it also has wide compatibility with the ability to plug into Macs, iPads, Android and PC machines, and many other devices that accept storage. The big selling points for the OWC Envoy Mini are the physical size, capacity, and speed.

Specification

  • Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Housing: Aluminium
  • Dimensions: 11 x 80 x 17mm
  • Weight: 26g
  • Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A / Type-C
  • Boot support : Yes

Performance

The small OWC Envoy Pro Mini is a compact USB stick, for all intents and purposes. Plug it into a port on your computer or iPad, and the stick instantly provides additional storage for your computer. What makes the OWC Envoy Mini more external drive than a USB Key is the capacity and transfer speeds on offer.

The design is really the only thing that reflects a traditional USB stick; and to that end, like a USB stick it’s very handy and portable. The full metal design means it can easily slip into a pocket or, using the lanyard, be attached to a bag or jacket zipper. What’s nice is that the size and weight mean there’s never any reason not to have it with you.

The mechanics of the design are also simple, with a small cap at the top protecting the USB Type-C connector and a pull-back and rotate bottom section enabling you to gain access to the USB Type-A connector. On the base is the activity light which flashes blue to show it’s connected and ready to go.

OWC Envoy Pro Mini

OWC are well experienced with drives and ease of use. When you first plug the drive, the OWC Drive Guide walks you through the set-up process. This highlights if you want to use the drive on Mac or Mac and PC systems, it also offers you a one-year subscription to the Acronis backup solution that enables cloud and local backup for the contents of the drive.

The process is extremely easy to follow and takes less than a minute. You can use Disk Utility or right-click on a PC, to reformat the drive at any point.

The big selling point aside from the huge capacity options is the speed, and here the small drive performs with the all-metal casing helping to keep the drive cool even when editing video.

OWC Envoy Pro Mini

Testing the drive under load and gained the following results utilising AJA System Test light:

Read: 871MB/s
Write: 731MB/s

Verdict

To carry such a small drive that will provide both backup and working storage is unusal; small drives of this capacity are usually relatively slow, and USB-C drives are usually substantially larger. Everything about using the drive is easy, from the initial set-up with the pre-installed software to using the Acronis backup software.

In use, the 1TB of storage is ample for backing up work when out and about, and the huge capacity is joined by a write speed that enables the fast transfer of files from CFExpress cards to the drive without too much of a wait.

Used as a working drive and editing in FCPX, Premiere Pro or Blackmagic, resolve the OWC Envoy Pro Mini keeps up with the demands of the applications. Although I did find that the drive does get hot so best used as an in the field working solution rather than something for everyday.

OWC Envoy Pro Mini

When it comes to the price being close to £200/$200 is expensive for 1TB of storage, but not when you consider the size and convenience. If you need a compact working drive, then there are really no other options of this quality.

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