OWC, Other World Computing, was founded in 1988 and is a zero-emission technology company that produces a wide range of computer upgrade kits, memory, computer docking stations and storage drives . The Elektron Envoy Pro is the company’s smallest laptop ssd (opens in a new tab) but it is also very resistant and its NVMe M.2 2242 technology allows it to reach transfer speeds of up to 1011 MB/s.
Maximum data transfer speed: 1011 MB/s
Abilities available: 240 GB, 480 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
OWC produces the Elektron Envoy Pro in four capacities, 240GB, 480GB, 1TB, 2TB, focusing on smaller sizes rather than larger ones. This means that the SSD is available at very attractive prices, but the 2TB drive has fierce competition from SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD (opens in a new tab).
The drive has a USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2) port that allows data transfer rates of up to 10 Gb/s (1250 MB/s), but OWC claims a maximum data transfer rate of 1011 MB/s.
Useful, OWC provides a USB-C to USB-C cable with a USB-C to USB-A adapter attached. This means the drive can be used with older computers as well as the latest models and you only have to carry one cable.
Build and manipulate
The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron measures just 12 x 76 x 52mm and weighs 85g, meaning you can comfortably slip it into a jeans pocket or the last little space in your camera bag. It is also built like a small tank, is crushproof and looks like a solid block of metal. Its aircraft-grade aluminum is very reassuring.
According to OWC, the Envoy Pro Elektron has a dust and water resistance rating of IP67. This means that it is dustproof, completely protected against dust ingress and can survive immersion to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes. These impressive stats mean he should survive a splash of coffee or a puddle of water.
Although the reader is very small, OWC provides it with a USB-C cable that is not far from 70 cm long. This is great news for anyone reaching around the back of their computer to find the USB port, or when working with your laptop on your lap. This means the Envoy Pro Elektron is unlikely to hang awkwardly and risk being accidentally disconnected.
I started my testing of the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron by connecting it to a MacBook Air M2 2022 (opens in a new tab) and start Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. This recorded write speeds of up to around 904MB/s and read speeds of around 663MB/s. OWC only quotes one maximum data transfer speed for the Elektron Envoy Pro, it does not break it down into read and write speeds. Obviously, the reading speed I measured is well below the claimed maximum transfer rate.
Nonetheless, the drive performs well in normal use and it took just over 15 seconds to transfer 9.74GB of footage comprising 100 JPEGs and 100 raw files from the 45.7MP. Nikon Z7II (opens in a new tab) from it to the MacBook Air. Transferring the same folder of files from the MacBook Air to the drive took just under 14 seconds. So you don’t have to wait for long periods of time while copying images.
Since I got the Elektron Envoy Pro, I’ve taken it overseas and carried it with me without paying much attention to it, and it’s still worked perfectly even after it’s fallen off my desk or received a splash of water. I’ve mainly used it to temporarily store footage before transferring it to a permanent storage drive, but I’ve also found it to work as a working drive when editing 4K video.
The aircraft-grade aluminum exterior is designed to help keep the SSD cool, but it heats up quite quickly during use. It doesn’t feel dangerously hot, but it will definitely warm your hands in cold weather.
OWC Envoy Pro Elektron: Verdict
The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron is one of the smallest portable SSDs on the market. It’s a bit thicker than the SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 Portable Solid State Drive (opens in a new tab), but it’s a bit shorter, feels sturdier, and has a higher dust and water resistance rating. It’s also fast. It doesn’t have the 2000MB/s transfer speeds of some other SSDs, but it’s still fast enough for image and video storage and works as a working drive for 4K movies.
It’s good to see a few sub-1TB capacity drives available because that brings the price down. Smaller capacity drives are a good choice for anyone just looking to back up their camera’s memory card(s) while they’re away.
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