Review: OWC Envoy Express Thunderbolt Enclosure – DIY Addition

Three things come in limited supply—Time, Space, and Money. The challenge comes in balancing all of them. That can be especially true when it comes to our laptops. To be mobile, they are generally light and expensive. However, they are sadly limited in space. That is to say, insufficient memory. You may find the easiest way to expand your device’s memory capacity is an external storage medium. OWC has come up with a way to help you stay within those three, your Time, Space, and Money. The Envoy Express Thunderbolt certified bus-powered enclosure. 

Being on the go, everything gets bounced around and takes a pretty good beating. However, the Envoy Express is a solid little unit. Made of black anodized aluminum, it stands up to everyday travel with the bumps and bouncing around that goes with it. Many other devices are made of plastic and are built to be lighter. There is a downside to lightweight plastics. I do not know how many times I have moved my laptop, forgetting about my external hard drive. Only to hear it crash against something. Of course, my heart drops, and I immediately pick it up like a baby to see if it has been damaged. I have come to realize something. I like the fact that my Mac is made of metal. One of the form factors I like because it can stand up to moving it around. Additionally, since the enclosure is attached to my laptop, I never worry about dropping the unit. It’s nice to have an external drive with the same resilient body to protect it from damage.A famous saying is, “Happiness is appreciating the simple things in life.” For me, That is true with the OWC Envoy Express. At first, I thought the clear case on the housing was part of the packaging. However, when I realized it was part of the unit. I said to myself. OWC is really on the ball. They built a mobile unit that is designed to be MOBILE. The external hard drive is not a tag-a-long device. It is part of your system. Your mobile on the go computing system. 

One thing that does drive me insane is placing stickers on anything. Because I inevitably get it crooked. In this case, I put the mounting slider backward. Don’t worry, no need to be anxious. You can remove it and reattach it to the proper location. Now understand there may be a limit to the number of times you can readjust the device. However, it’s nice to know that the slider can be adjustable if need be.

The unit is attached to your machine with a 10″ Thunderbolt™ 3 cable. The cable is not hard-wired internally to the circuit board. If you wish to have a longer thunderbolt cord, you can swap it for a longer cable. However, I feel that the 10″ is just the right size. If it were any longer, it would be easy to catch on something.The Envoy Express is designed to be a true DIY solution. Included with the unit is a tool to remove the screws to the backplate allowing access to install any NVMe M.2 2280 SSD. In addition, the Express is built to accommodate the future growth of larger storage modules. 

No need to fret over which system the  OWC Envoy Express is compatible with multiple systems. This expanded memory case is designed to work on PC or Mac platforms. 

When I hear something is DIY, I often feel it is code for “Some assembly required,” Meaning I will have to construct something from bits and pieces to get what I ordered. So my first thought is, “Here, I am building a piece of electronic equipment that is beyond my education.” Usually, the instructions look like a cheap coloring book or plans so detailed and filled with minute details on par with the Mars rover construction plans.  

However, in the case of the OWC Envoy Express, DIY is “customization.” Meaning the little bit of DIY allows you to choose the size of your storage. From 240GB up to 8 TB. All without trying to interpret the hieroglyphics of an extended version of “How to build a bookshelf.”

Note that the OWC Envoy Express comes with all the tools you need. It actually comes with its own screwdriver. No need to go through your kitchen junk drawer. No need to search for a tiny Philips screwdriver. First, loosen and remove the two screws and the backplate. Then remove the silver “retain screw located near the thunderbolt cord. Now assuming you already opened the package containing your M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. Aligning it properly, plug in the stick. Now, you’re ready to put it back together. The SSD will not be laying completed flat in the housing. Find the silver screw technically called the retaining screw. So take the screw and drive it back, and this will secure the SSD. Replace the backplate drive the two screws back home. Plug it in, and boom, you just increased the memory for your computer. Notice it did not require a degree in rocket science or brain surgery. Just a little time to actually “PLUG and Play.”

The OWC Envoy Express was designed for modern mobile life. Being not just another add-on but built to be integrated into your existing system. From the Thunderbolt connection and the slide-on mount. It looks like it is part of your computer. In creating additional physical space to upgrade your computer. It becomes a simple DIY process of a few screws and inserting a memory module to expand and grow your storage capacity. So how does the OWC Envoy Express balance those three limited and valuable resources

Currently, the Envoy Express is going for about $79 on Amazon and it currently qualifies for Prime

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