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OWC Envoy Pro Mini 480GB Ultra-Portable SSD

Last updated 2015-12-28 - Send Feedback
Related: Storage, SSD
OWC Envoy Pro Mini

Get OWC Envoy Pro Mini SSD at MacSales.com (120/240/480GB).

MPG previously reviewed the OWC Envoy Pro Mini 240GB Ultra-Portable SSD.

The OWC 480GB Envoy Pro Mini Ultra-Portable SSD is a high-performance thumb drive with a robust aluminum case. Its performance approaches that of full size SSDs (indeed, faster than some full size SSDs). Yet it is ultra portable.

Designed to fit

OWC supplies a USB extension cable with the Envoy Pro Mini, but this was not needed on either a 2013 MacBook Pro Retina, or the 2013 Mac Pro—

  • MPG confirmed that the Envoy Pro Mini plugs in perfectly to a MacBook Pro Retina, without causing a stress issue as with some overly thick thumb drives (drives that are too tall for the MBP form factor). It also fits into the USB3 slot even if a Thunderbolt cable is plugged in next to the USB3 port.
  • MPG tested the 2013 Mac Pro USB3 port where it fit with the other three ports also used—no physical conflict.

OWC Description

Full-sized, fast SSD storage that fits in your pocket.

This is not your average thumb drive. Elegant, light, and strong, Envoy Pro mini is full-sized desktop-class SSD performance in the ultimate go-anywhere storage companion. It's incredibly fast and perfectly portable for your life on the move.

  • 43 grams with end cap, 46 grams with lanyard.
  • Ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling provides highest reliability
  • 3 Year OWC Solution Limited Warranty with 48-Hour Service Turnaround Time
  • USB Extension Cable
  • Pre-installed Backup and Utility software: Intech® SpeedTools Utilities™ OEM (For Mac OS 8.6, OS X 10.3.9 or later only), ProSoft Engineering® Data Backup for Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later, NovaStor NovaBACKUP® for Windows 2000 or later

Tested: Sustained transfer speed

Performance testing by DiskTester, part of diglloydTools.
disktester fill-volume [--fill randomblock]

Write speed is reasonably fast and remains constant across the entire capacity. Performance was also tested with incompressible data with identical results, so the Envoy Pro Mini is not sensitive to compressible vs incompressible data, unlike its 240GB sibling.

Very impressive with this test and with the transfer-size test is that the Envoy Pro Mini became somewhat warm but not hot—that’s not so easy to do in a thumb drive when the entire capacity is written continually—the entire test took 69 minutes, and about 48 minutes of that was writes (a drive that gets too hot could have reliability issues). The Envoy Pro Mini delivers consistent performance under a demanding load far harder than most users will ever apply to it without getting hot.

Sustained transfer speed of 480GB Envoy Pro Mini thumb drive, across entire capacity

Tested: Transfer speed vs transfer size

Performance testing by DiskTester, part of diglloydTools.
disktester run-sequential-suite -s 32K -e 512M --iterations 5 --test-size 2G

As with the fill-volume test above, the Envoy Pro Mini delivers excellent results under a long-duration sustained load while becoming only moderately warm.

Write speeds rise rapidly to nearly peak rates by 64 KiB transfers. The implication is strong performance across tasks that write small files. Read speeds rise even more rapidly, and to outstanding levels for a thumb drive, suggesting a terrific performance for real world tasks.

The consistent performance under load suggest that the Envoy Pro Mini is a thumb drive that could serve as a boot drive or similar demanding load.

Transfer speed vs transfer size for 480GB Envoy Pro Mini thumb drive

Conclusions

At 46 grams with lanyard, the OWC 480GB Envoy Pro Mini is an awesomely convenient way to carry around a lot of data that can be used at speeds similar to full-size SSDs. MPG has tried and rejected other compact possibilities like 256GB SDXC cards, but these are frustratingly slow under real-world sustained load, and such camera cards cannot take a beating over time without developing problems.

What a great way for photographers to backup images off the laptop in the field, to carry critical business data, etc. Its performance makes it practical even as a boot drive, it is designed for a long service life, and it does not overheat under absurdly high utilization.

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