Extremely Fast, Robust External SSD Drive with Separate Cable

Review by Erik Vlietinck

OWC is on a releasing spree of small, extremely robust, and very fast external bus-powered SSD drives. Not that long ago, we had the tiny Envoy Elektron which is USB 3.2 Gen 2 only; but the latest to hit the streets is the Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Gen 2-compatible Envoy Pro FX.

The new drive is very small (but about twice the size of the Envoy Elektron), quite heavy at 244 g, drop- and crush-safe, and dust- and waterproof certified (IP67). The FX supports a maximum performance of up to 2800MB/s and comes with a pluggable hybrid Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.2 cable of 80 cm with a converter USB-A plug integrated. 

The actual performance of the Envoy Pro FX is exemplary. Driven by Aura Pro P12 SSD modules inside, the tests I ran on my mid-2017 27″ iMac showed a maximum obtainable speed of 2400MB/sec read and 1800MB/sec write with the AJA System Test set to 1GB 4K 10-bit YUV files. As always, Blackmagic Design’s Speed Test gave slightly lower results at 2286MB/sec read and 1624MB/sec write speeds. 

The OWC Envoy Pro FX is ideal for everyone who needs to work in the field with either a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. With its separate cable, it’s the ideal drive for photography, video, and backups on the road, as well as in the office. I would even recommend it as a portable OS boot drive, e.g. for security reasons: the FX is fully  compatible with macOS and Windows built-in encryption. 

And it looks great too: Its charcoal-gray aluminum chassis has deeply grooved fins, which, by the way, turn the entire enclosure into a highly effective heat sink for maximum heat dissipation and throttling-free performance. Even when using the Envoy Pro FX to render a lengthy 4K video, the drive remained  cool and the speed didn’t drop. ■