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November 2005 Issue
Photoshop User
Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400+USB2 external drive (Review)

by Daniel M. East
Photoshop User Rating 5 bugs

Like its larger sibling in the dual RAID configuration, Other World Computing‘s (OWC) Mercury Elite-AL Pro single external drive is a champ from the start. This small drive is solid and surprisingly heavy, yet it tucks away nicely in a desk drawer or briefcase, and there‘s no sacrifice in performance.

The expression “big things come in small packages” is definitely true in this case as OWC steps up in the marketplace with all of the right elements for a successful drive: fast performance, connectivity, and excellent reliability in a great-looking Power G5-like package. It‘s relatively quiet, although there‘s some occasional modest fan noise. This drive comes complete with Dantz Retrospect Express for Mac and PC, along with InTech Hard Disk Speed Tools for Mac, to make it an out-of-the-box solution. As usual, OWC has added their own library of shareware, Apple updaters, QuickTime movies, and more.

Also like the larger OWC Mercury Elite Pro models, this configuration features two FireWire 800 ports, a single FireWire 400 port, and a USB 2.0/1.1 port makes connections plug ‘n‘ play. In addition, all of the necessary cabling is supplied. If you already have other external drives, daisy-chain configurations are a snap. File transfers were fast easy in a variety of large sizes and the 8MB buffer in this 7200-rpm Mercury Elite makes it a great choice for storage, backup, and real-time data transfer operations.

Other World Computing continues to step over most of its competition with products that combine reliability, value, and design for advanced consumers and professionals looking for a quality external hard drive.
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