May 2013 Anthony Garland
OWC, a company best known for their line of Apple accessories, has just released their all new Envoy Pro EX line of flash-based USB 3.0 drives. While OWC has numerous USB 3.0 offerings already in their lineup, the Envoy Pro EX is not your typical USB 3.0 flash drive. It actually houses a SandForce controller; using such a high performance ‘SSD’ controller inside a USB flash drive is rather impressive as LSI’s SandForce subsidiary has built a sterling reputation for providing ultra high performance controllers.
The LSI SandForce controller is only one half of the Envoy Pro EX’s claim to fame. Instead of relying upon obsolete ONFi 1.0 asynchronous NAND, OWC has paired a SandForce controller to higher performance ONFi 2 synchronous NAND. This is why the Envoy Pro EX is able to boast up to 500MB/s and should make most competitors seem outdated and downright decrepit. Add in a robust anodized aluminium case which measures 4.5″ x 2.13″ x 0.44″ and only weighs at 3.8 ounces, and this all new bus powered external flash storage device easily justifies its $319.99 (240GB) and $599.99 (480GB) price tag. If this sounds like your next portable storage device, you can get hold of one online at OWC or at many online retailers immediately.