Laptops Need External Storage
Laptops are marvelous not just because they duplicate or in some cases surpass desktop models as regards computational power, but because they allow for portability and free the user from the constraints of being in a home, office or studio environment -- they let the person go wherever they want to go. And as this portability has increased in popularity, so too has the need for portable storage to be able to accompany the person as well. This portable storage needs to be able to duplicate the abilities to be found in desktop storage, but without causing difficulties in traveling. What this means is that this portable storage doesn't just need to be able to keep up with the demands of storage, but also it needs to be more rugged and durable than those drives that are found on desktops. That pretty much describes OWC’s Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini.
Three Parts Make The Whole
Now there are three parts to the mini: what it's made of and its physical design that will provide a quality result; the speed at which it functions as a device that can transfer digital files between it and the laptop wherever it might be placed; the ability of the drive to save its digital files in more ways than just the standard method of keeping those files in storage, one file saved at a time and so a single file every time being the end result.
So start with the construction — which is that of a slim but ruggedly designed aluminum chassis that is well designed to handle being tossed around, taken around and generally treated less than gentle — because it is going to be taken wherever the laptop is, be that outside or inside, wherever. In order to be truly portable, the drive needs to be free of having to bring along a power supply. So it does. Bus-powered is how it does its thing, which means that the USB-C connection to the laptop is providing power to the drives, as well as allowing for the transfer of data. Additionally there is no need for a fan for cooling the drives — this not only lightens the actual weight of the mini but also lowers the power required for operation.
When you first get the mini, you’ll want to format it for use. So OWC provides drive formatting software that will take care of this for a PC or Mac (meaning Windows OS/MacOS). The mini allows for RAID functionality for saving data and explaining it is pretty simple: there are various RAID designations, but to simplify for use, the best reason to have RAID is because whatever data you put on the mini gets duplicated simultaneously. This means you don’t have to worry that a file might later get corrupted or become problematic, since the file is not the only one of its kind. That doesn’t mean you can’t just use the drive as a separate drive, but it allows for a greater safety net against losing files and having problem issues. And just to note the tech correctly, here you get two user selectable modes (easily to choose between), in the name of RAID 0 and RAID 1; RAID 0 giving data transfer speeds of up to 366MB/s, with RAID 1 providing data redundancy from mirrors disks.
Be PC or Mac Portable
The Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini is designed for use with both Macs and PCs and Chrome computers — obviously laptops since desktop computers aren’t really portable. Drivers are not required for any of this (not OSX, Windows, Chrome). The only hardware requirement on the laptop’s end is that it it have a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port. It has a retail of $74.75 — but that’s a bare enclosure. So you get the choice of the kind of hard drives that are placed inside -- for example, the 4TB hard drive configuration of drives and enclousre is $259.00 and there is also a 2TB configuration (with these drives running at 5200 perhaps due to being smaller in size to fit the enclosure). The other choice is to go with the more expensive but obviously faster solid-state drives: 480MB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB and 8TB (as an example the 4TB is presently $699.00). Further details can be had at https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MEMDC2H5T4.0/