Other World Computing (OWC) announced the Express 1M2, its first USB4 drive and what it says is the fastest single-blade NVMe drive to date with real-world speeds up to 3,151 MB/s.
Designed to work with both USB4 and Thunderbolt devices, OWC says the new compact enclosure can reach speeds that surpass traditional SSD interfaces and is designed to support the data rates required to edit 8K and high-resolution photos.
Bus-powered and compact — it is described as about the size of a cell phone — it has all the qualities typically associated with portable SSDs.
Unlike most other compact, portable drives, OWC’s Express 1M2 is first and foremost an enclosure, meaning the internals of the drive can be customized early on and populated with any 2230, 2242, or 2280-sized NVMe M.2 SSD in the future. Basically, it doesn’t limit buyers to keeping the same SSD going into the future and can be upgraded or swapped out in the case of failure.
OWC says the enclosure is secure and rugged and is a “perfect solution for repurposing drives you already have or expanding storage for files and backups.”
For those unfamiliar, USB4 is interchangeable with Thunderbolt 3 and 4 when it comes to speed. It’s also backward compatible with USB 3.2 and USB 2. For reference, USB 3.2 2×2 — used by both Samsung and Crucial in both of their new portable SSDs — was considered a stop-gap between USB 3.2 and USB4, so OWC’s new enclosure can be considered state of the art.
The Express 1M2 works with either Macs or PCs via OWC’s MacDrive software and is constructed out of aluminum in a heat sink design that can properly dissipate heat and ensure throttle-free, constant, maximum performance. OWC says it’s a superior design choice versus “low-cost, snap-together enclosures.”
“The Express 1M2 is built to keep the drive cool and performance high, continuing OWC’s tradition of building products right vs. targeting a low-priced disposable commodity level,” Larry O’Connor, founder and CEO of OWC, says. “Our customer’s data reliability is our #1 priority and the Express 1M2 is the ideal choice for those seeking long-term reliability and high performance.”
The Express 1M2 will be available starting at $119.99 for just the enclosure and can be upgraded with OWC’s NVMe M.2 SSDs starting at $220 for 1TB and up to $1,300 for 8TB. Buyers can also source their own SSDs separately or use one they already own.
Image credits: OWC