One of the drawbacks of the MacBook Air, the Retina display MacBook Pro, and, well, most other laptops is their small storage capabilities. Especially if you’re ordering a portable with a flash drive, you’ll have limited space unless you’re able to shell out big bucks.
One solid solution is Other World Computing’s (http://www.macsales.com) OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini with the industry’s first eSATA 6G and bus-powered USB 3.0 portable external drive. eSATA aside, it’s a solution tailor made for the latest Macs, which finally add support for USB 3.0 (and we should see iMacs, Mac minis and Mac Pros with such support rolling out in the months ahead).
Available in 13 different hard drive or OWC Mercury SSD-equipped capacity configurations up to 1.5TB, the new USB 3.0/2.0 and eSATA 6G “triple interface” model delivers up to 600MB/s data rate storage/backup performance to Mac and PC users in a plug ‘n play mobile footprint. .
The Mercury Elite pro mini measures 5.5 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches. Because it’s bus-powered, it doesn’t require an AC adapter, which is a big advantage for an external drive being used with a laptop.
The Mercury Elite Pro mini USB 3.0 and eSATA 6G model is available in capacities ranging from 0GB Kits from US$64.99, hard drive configurations up to 1.5TB from $114.99, and OWC Mercury 6G SSD based solutions up to 480GB from $159.99. They come ready for plug ‘n play with all interface connecting cables.
The OWC solution’s minimalist design looks good with any Mac. Also, it’s practically silent in its operation.
The aluminum case can accept any 2.5-inch laptop hard drive or — with the proper model — SSD. It’s simple to assemble and tough enough to stand up to most bangs it might endure during everyday use and transportation. Though it’s small, don’t think of this as a pocket drive cause it won’t fit unless you have really big pockets.
When it comes to eSATA, no Mac currently supports this type of connectivity. You can, for instance, make it work on the Mac Pro and other Macs with specific add-on cards, but this route will be, for most users, more trouble that it’s worth.
OWC’s Mercury Pro line of hard drives is among the fastest and versatile around. The Pro mini continues that tradition and is a fine companion to the latest Mac portables.
Rating: 8 out of 10