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OWC Announces Mercury Elite Pro mini as Industry’s First eSATA 6G and Bus-Powered USB 3.0 Portable Storage Solution

Other World Computing announced today it has expanded its OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini line to include the industry’s first eSATA 6G and bus-powered USB 3.0 portable external drive. Available in 13 different hard drive or OWC Mercury SSD-equipped capacity configurations up to 1.5TB, the new USB 3.0/2.0 and eSATA 6G “triple interface” model delivers up to 600MB/s data rate storage/backup performance to Mac and PC users in a Plug and Play, mobile footprint. The new Mercury Elite Pro mini and other OWC storage solutions will be shown in Other World Computing’s booth #5231, LVCC North Hall, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins today in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Portable and Bus-Powered for Mobile Lifestyles

Measuring a compact 5.5″ L x 3.8″ W x 1.1″ H, the Mercury Elite Pro mini offers portable storage capacity up to 1.5TB – enough space for up to 1.5 million JPEG photos, 750 DVD movies, 115 hours of digital video, or 526,000 MP3 songs – in its fanless, aircraft grade brushed aluminum enclosure. Because it’s bus-powered, the Mercury Elite Pro mini doesn’t require an AC adapter, so it’s ideal for in-the-field business professionals, creative/entertainment professionals, students, and anyone else needing to back up data, transport large files between computers, gain additional storage capacity, and even perform video editing and live music recording. 

Built for Performance and Flexibility

Designed to emulate the award-winning history of the larger desktop-sized Mercury Elite-AL Pro, the Mercury Elite Pro mini portable storage solution line offers a choice of the fastest 2.5″ SATA hard drive mechanisms up to 7200RPM; or ‘faster in a flash’ OWC’s Mercury brand SSDs for demanding A/V, digital photography, professional music, graphics, general data, and Time Machine-ready storage needs. 6G (6Gb/s) eSATA, the fastest interface offered for portable drives, offers up to 600MB/s, while the USB 3.0/2.0 port can be utilized for bus power. The Mercury Elite Pro mini can also be used with digital cameras and camcorders with USB 3.0/2.0 data ports for fast, on-location backups of images and video.


Backed by the Best Support in the Industry

The best warranty is one a consumer should never have to use, but should the need occur, OWC is proud to provide a superior level of support and warranty coverage to its customers. The Mercury Elite Pro mini comes fully backed by free lifetime US-based 24/7 technical support and a three-year warranty which includes a 48-hour repair turnaround time with complimentary Level 1 data recovery during the first year of ownership.

When the highest speed and maximum portability are the key criteria for an external drive, there is no equal to the new Mercury Elite Pro mini USB 3.0 and eSATA 6G model,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “With 13 different configurations offering choices of capacity and drive type, there’s a model for any particular need and/or budget.”

Mercury Elite Pro mini Key Features:

• Perfect for digital photography, professional music, graphics, general data, and Time Machine

• USB 3.0/2.0 and eSATA 6G interfaces; bus-powered via USB 3.0

• Data transfer speeds up to 600MB/s

• Uses a 2.5″ SATA hard drive up to 7200RPM or Solid State Drive

• All interface cables included

• Portable size at 5.5in (L) x 3.8in (W) x 1.1in (H)

• Brushed aluminum, impact-resistant, heat-dissipating enclosure

• Super-quiet, fanless operation

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  • I’ve got two of the eSATA+USB3.0 2TB drives today. My Sept. 2012 Retina MacBookPro cannot spin them up via USB 3.0. Blue light doesn’t come up, and drives are not showing in Disk Utility. I hear them spinning somewhat. What might be going on? A Seagate GoFlex FreeAgent 1.5TB is working fine with USB3.0, powered by it.

  • Are the USB 3.0 benchmarks with on there yet?

    I want to see what the top speed for your USB 3.0 enclosures are
    with a 3rd gen ssd to see the bottleneck speeds. Especially for incompressible data.

  • As someone who’s constantly running work between PC’s and Mac’s – truth be told I don’t need thunderbolt. I need something that’s got FW800 and USB 3.0.

    Just a thought.

  • Thunderbolt across ALL external Mac drives is a must. Please. No thunderbolt, no purchase. Note that competitors already have them. Thanks!

    • As we’ve mentioned before, OWC is currently planning to offer our own brand name Thunderbolt equipped storage solutions later this year. Why the extended time frame? Just like how we took our time in developing our industry leading SSDs, we don’t rush into product areas until there is more evolution of the emerging technology…so we can offer the highest levels of performance, quality, and reliability.

      In the interim, we do offer various third party (non-OWC) first generation Thunderbolt products for those customers that can’t wait for the improvements we will ultimately provide.

      We applaud Apple for partnering with other technology providers, getting consumers excited about this latest data interface, and creating demand for Thunderbolt enabled products. The industry is in the very early stages of Thunderbolt developments and we’re excited to have the opportunity to be developing solutions with the next generation of data transfer performance.

  • Look, I don’t know what OWC is doing. There is no support of USB 3.0 on Mac yet. All we need the combination is Thunderbolt and eSATA. Not USB 3.0 with eSATA. It cannot work on most Mac Laptops you know. I think it is a marketing strategy error. Who would buy that for no capability to work?

    • You mention a key point there… yet. We’re expecting that the next generation of chipsets that Apple will be using should be adding USB 3.0 support. It’s simply a natural progression of the USB interface and, as it is fully backwards compatible with the current USB 2.0 ports, it is still usable on today’s machines as well.

      eSATA is able to be used on some current Mac models via PCIe cards, ExpressCard/34 adapters, or even our OWC Turnkey Upgrade program for 2010-2011 iMac models.

      As we’ve mentioned before, Thunderbolt is coming but is not here yet.

  • I’m guessing that on my 2011 17″ MBP with ExpressCard port, I would never get enough bandwidth to warrant using one of these new cases, and that if I wanted a case to match a desktop computer then i would benefit from the bigger non-mini version of the case. However, if this case had access to significant data bandwidth via a suitable Thunderbolt adapter then it could be very handy even on my MBP – especially as in that configuration the eSATA might not cause MS Office 2011 to always insist on being reactivated the way it does every time I connect or disconnect an external drive directly to the computer. That makes it look very promising.

    When referring to the eSATA 6G interface, is the “6G” part of it in the cabling or is it all in the controller in the case ?

    More generally, would any computer equipped with 6G SATA ports automatically have 6G eSATA ports assuming that it has eSATA at all ?

  • Dude you guys are getting crucified. If you’re stoking demand, bravo, but if you really have no TB options to at least show off for release whenever, then this is going to get ugly.

    You guys all walk in lockstep on this and are very adamant with your talking points so I can tell this has to be point of discussion in past and present meetings or whatever you guys have there. I’ll bet the pro TB side is really sticking it to the other side this week.

    • This has very little to do with “lock step” and everything with a consistency of message. We don’t have a Thunderbolt device that we’re announcing; we’re also not in the habit of announcing products that we don’t have ready to release.

      The majority of people who want this product (the miniStack) will be well served by the current configuration.

      If you want to wait for a Thunderbolt version, that’s great too. We’ll announce it when there’s one to offer.

  • Would be nice if this item came with an eSata to Firewire800 adaptor.

    Apple is supposed to be the so called true plug and play don’t have to think system yet we have gone on with silly connectivity and bottleneck issues.

    Apple hopefully will stop this nonsense and simply settle on USB3 and Thunderbolt connections and sell decent cable systems such as USB3 to eSata, Firewire 400/800. I can’t blame OWC or any other 3rd party for Apple’s making its customers bend over.

  • I think everyone would appreciate a comment about your Thunderbolt connection plans. None of your new products announced at CES have it, but they all have eSATA. No mac has ever come with that technology, making it a connector few of us can take advantage of.

  • Sounds like good news… waiting for your Elite Pro mini Thunderbolt! ;-I

    How would you rate the max. possible transfer speed of the new Combo model in comparison with the Quad when connected via eSATA?

    • We will have benchmarks on the product pages next week (once CES is over and we receive our production units) to show exact transfer speeds, but the Combo model features a throughput via eSATA at up to 6Gb/s as opposed to the 3Gb/s max transfer speed of the Quad. So, if you’re connecting via a 6Gb/s capable eSATA port with a 6Gb/s capable drive, the speeds should be much faster.

      • Hi MIchael, thanks for the info!
        I was asking this because on my 2010 MacPro with Newertech eSATA PCI-card the max. transfer speed for the Combo model with Mercury Extreme 3G SSDs is with 115 – 120 MB/s far below the theoretical limit!

        • The problem I have with these OWC external units is that real world performance doesnt come close to the advertised bandwidth. Take the example from Oliver: via FW800 with an OWC Mercury Extreme 3G SSD I get ~55Mb/s, and with eSata it maxes out at ~80Mb/s. Put it in my mbpro & it maxes out at 118Mb/s. FYI/ This is using Digiloyd Tools to get the numbers. It’s not just the SSD, I put in a Crucial SSD & it gets 20-30Mb/s. Given this poor performance why would we expect the new model to give us 6Gb/s? Looking forward to any performance charts using actual results to compare.

          • QuickBench benchmarks are currently available on the Quad interface product pages and the benchmarks for the eSATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 version are coming soon.