Nearly two months ago I unboxed the OWC Express 2.5” USB 2.0 SATA hard drive enclosure. What a mouth full! After having some time to properly test the external drive I have finally felt it’s time for the full review.
Packaging: The packaging the unit is housed in a “no frills” corrugated cardboard box with a space theme printed on the exterior, the image wraps around the 3D rendering of the device that’s contained inside.
Package Contents: Upon opening the package I was first greeted with a pamphlet that included instructions on how to operate the enclosure. The instructions were pretty self explanatory, still nice for users that aren’t very tech savvy. Underneath the paperwork was the enclosure, USB cable, phillips screws, and faux leather case.
Construction: The OWC Express enclosure is constructed of plastic and consist of a single PCB on the inside. The over all design is decent but definitely not perfect. The enclosure snaps together and then fastens down securely with two screws in the front portion of the enclosure. The back side just clips into place. The OWC Express feels fairly sturdy when you have a hard drive inside of it.
The over all appearance of the enclosure is very minimal. The enclosure consists of 1 USB port and an activity light that glows blue, there are vent holes on the sides of the enclosure as well. That’s all, pretty simple. I quite enjoy the minimalistic approach, you can easily personalize it with stickers if you desire to do so.
The enclosure itself is rather small and compact, which is good. You can easily fit it into a shirt pocket or slide it into your laptop bag or backpack with ease. Since the drive only uses 1 USB cable you shouldn’t have any issues with stowing it away.
The over all design of the OWC Express is very well done, very clean lines, very functional and stylish. That doesn’t mean the enclosure is free from flaws though. I have noticed one small issue with the OWC express. The seams are unbalanced due to the enclosure only having two screws at the top. The top portion of the enclosure is flush and the seam line is properly distributed across the entire body of the enclosure. However, the bottom portion of the enclosure, the part that clips in, there is a visible gap due to it not having the support from screws like the top portion of the enclosure.
Here’s a video of the seam lines and gap.
Here’s the view of the “hook” that clips into the bottom portion of the OWC Express enclosure.
The bottom side of the enclosure.
As you can tell by the images above, there’s a pretty good gap going on. While this doesn’t affect the performance of the enclosure, I worry about dust and debris getting in or possibly moisture. The seam is not noticeable at first glance so to some people they may not even notice it or care for that matter.
Connections: The OWC Express only has 1 USB mini port on the front. The folks at OWC include a USB cable to go along with the enclosure. The connection is nice and tight, there’s no wobble or play in the connection.
Here is the printed circuit board mentioned earlier.
Activity: The activity LED in the OWC Express glows a very bright blue when plugged in. The light will flicker when data is being written or when data is being read from the drive. When there’s no activity, the light glows a steady blue.
Conclusion: The OWC Express is a very good buy at $19.99. Great size, shape and appearance. The enclosure comes in three colors, white, black, and silver. Aside from the small lifting on the back side of the enclosure, this is a solid product. I think with an extra screw in the bottom this could be a fantastic addition to your mobile arsenal. I have been using it for two months with out any issues. I am satisfied with the unit. I would buy another one if I had the need for it.
• Very affordable
• Only needs one USB port to run
• Very compact and sleek looking
• Very minor gap in the bottom portion, could be fixed with another screw post or two.
• No shock absorption material or gasket inside. Not a huge issue, but it would be nice to have a little padding inside.
• Faux leather case. I would like to see something with a little more padding.