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Review: OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 'Quad Interface'

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 'Quad Interface' [LINK]
Other World Computing / MacSales.com [LINK]
Reviewed by
Kevin L. Kitchens
Review Publication Date
August 05, 2008

OWC's Mercury Elite-AL Pro
includes power adapter and all interface cables.
During the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to test the “OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro ‘Quad Interface’ hard drive from Other World Computing. This 1TB (terabyte, 1000GB) external hard drive lives up to its name. It has been a solid and rugged performer, surviving day to day travels in my laptop bag, on vacation, as well as in the field. Pretty much everywhere I’ve taken my computer for image processing, the Mercury has gone too.

It sports a hard and durable aluminum shell that protects it from regular wear, tear, bumps and scrapes. There is a weight cost for this protection however, as the unit tips the scales at around three pounds without cables.

Like the name conveys, the case features four different interfaces for connecting this drive to your computer (or any other system). There is one eSATA port, one FireWire 400 port, two FireWire 800 ports, and the standard USB 2.0/1.1 compatible port. I only utilized the USB connection to my laptop, but when connection to a USB 2.0 port, the drive transfer speed was impressively fast. I was able to copy 4.55 GB of RAW photo images onto the drive in less than 5 minutes.

The Mercury Elite-AL Pro does use an external power cord (as opposed to getting power from your computer), which is included. Also, all cables needed for connecting to the four different interfaces are provided. This is an added convenience when you want to move the drive between systems with different interface requirements as everything you need you already have.

For its portability, durability, as well as transfer speed, photographyvoice.com gives the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro ‘Quad Interface’ hard drive a rating of “Highly Recommended”. The 1TB model retails for $299.99 for 7200RPM and $269.95 for 5400RPM. Models are available in capacities as low as 250GB for the Quad Interface and 80GB for reduced connectivity.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Durable, hard aluminum case.
  • Includes all needed cables.
  • Four interface options to connect to almost any system.
  • A bit on the heavy side at three pounds.
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