Introduction & Drive Details
After reviewing OWC's Envoy Pro SX Thunderbolt 3 portable SSDs, we've acquired a taste for the Envoy line of professional-grade portable storage devices. As we looked further into the Envoy series, we noticed OWC has a USB 3.2 Gen2 version called the Envoy Pro Elektron.
At first glance, this portable appeared to us to be identical to the Envoy Pro SX, just with a USB interface and a silver enclosure instead of black. To our surprise, it turns out that the Envoy Pro Elektron looks the same, but it's much more compact.
The compact nature of Envoy Pro Elektron is a welcome surprise for its increased portability. Now the Elektron may be more compact than its Thunderbolt 3 cousin, but it is every bit the same in terms of premium build quality. The Envoy Pro Elektron is built from a solid chunk of machined aluminum. This thing has a premium heft and feel to it in hand. Additionally, it's drop-proof, crush-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
We didn't want to take this masterpiece apart, but we can tell you about the SSD inside. If we were to crack this thing open, we would find an OWC Aura P13 Pro SSD 2242 DRAMless Phison E13T controlled SSD arrayed with 96L BiCS 4 flash. Bridging the SSD to USB is an ASMedia ASM2362 bridge chip.
Jon's Test System Specifications - Intel NUC 11 Pro
Note: For USB 3.2 Gen2 x2 SSDs, we test on our Z690 system set to match our Intel NUC 11 specs (4.8GHz, 8-threads, DDR4 3200, balanced power plan).
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, ATTO & Blackmagic
Testing against CDM demonstrates the Elektron is more than capable of reaching factory specified throughput. 40 MB/s Q1T1 random read is worth noting as well, as it's very good.
This looks good. Nearly full speed at QD4 128K transfers and a beautifully consistent pattern that doesn't show any signs of throttling or folding as transfer sizes climb higher.
If tasked with video duties, the Elektron is competent for most with the exception of 10 Bit YUV 4:2:2 at 2160p50 and 2160p60.
Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 & Transfer Rates
PCMark 10 Data Drive Benchmark
The 2TB Envoy Pro Elektron lands where we expect it would being a DRAMless SSD.
We brutalize our test subjects with our extremely hard-to-swallow 100GB data block. This data block is the same one we use for our internal SSD testing and is composed of more than 62K files. Although it lands near the bottom of our chart, it does quite well for a DRAMless portable. It even manages to serve data to the host at a faster rate than Cigent's K2, which is built around a much more powerful E12 controlled SSD.
Fast speeds, nearly indestructible, compact, and waterproof. There is a lot to like about OWC's Envoy Pro Elektron. What we love most is its compact size and quality construction. Throughput is as good as it gets for USB 3.2 Gen2 and its dense aluminum enclosure keeps the Elektron from throttling due to heat.
Worthy of a close look and one of our highest awards, OWC's Envoy Pro Elektron is TweakTown recommended.
- Bus Powered
- Professional Grade
- Sustained Write
The Bottom Line
Virtually indestructible, professional grade, and fast. The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron checks all the right boxes.