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Beef Up The Connectivity And Storage For Your MacBook With These Accessories from OWC

The OWC Envoy Pro SX and Thunderbolt HUB will greatly increase your connectivity, workflow and peace of mind.
The OWC Thuderbolt Hub

The OWC Thuderbolt Hub

OWC Thunderbolt Hub ($179)

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a new 16" Macbook Pro with an M1 Pro chip, the most powerful laptop Apple has ever built. So with all that power, you are looking at a genuinely portable full-scale workhorse that can handle just about anything you throw at it. With three Thunderbolt 4 ports, you are in better shape than with the one on our new M1 MacBook Air, but you still are going need more ports if you are going to max out the potential of this computer.

We use this laptop at a desk with multiple monitors primarily for video/photo editing and music. The OWC Thunderbolt Hub gives us three more ports to provide us with six total Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports and one standard USB 3 port.

So now we can connect two 4k monitors and various external hard drives like the OWC Envoy Pro SX 480GB SSD (see below) to handle different content, backup, and projects. The OWC Dock Ejector software safely disconnects multiple drives in a single click. We keep the hub at the desk, and if we need to port the computer out of the office or travel, it's easy to unhook and be on your way.

The OWC Thunderbolt Hub is designed for newer Macs (M1 chip) and optimized for the latest offering, but it will work with any Apple 'Intel' Mac with Thunderbolt 3 or any Thunderbolt 4 PC if you don't use a Mac. It will also work with your iPad (with adapter) or Chromebook, so it's an incredibly versatile hub.

Since this hub is powered, it can also charge your devices, a bonus to an already excellent device.

Connect:

  • Up to 2x 4K Displays
  • A Single 5K/6K/8K display
  • A/V Mixers and Audio Interfaces
  • High-Performance Hard Drives
  • Phone + Tablet
  • Mouse + Keyboard

If you have every daisy-chained devices, you know that it can be a massive pain if you accidentally unhook the wrong one. With this hub, you can create three separate "tree branch" chains allowing you to remove devices without affecting the others. This feature is a big deal if you work on multiple client projects and need to have your hard drives separated. Now you can connect multiple portable SSDs directly to the OWC Thunderbolt Hub. Not only is this great for managing your work/content/storage, but the data transfer on a fast SSD is incredibly fast.

For those of you that still like DVDs/CDs, don't you worry, the OWC's free Dock Ejector software also includes a special driver that enables your OWC Thunderbolt Hub to play and burn CDs and DVDs with the Apple SuperDrive. Just connect the SuperDrive to the USB-A port on the OWC Thunderbolt Dock, and you will be old school in no time.

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Features:

  • All the Thunderbolt you've always wanted: For the first time ever, add more full speed, fully functional Thunderbolt ports to your computer1
  • Plug everything in: Same device compatibility, whether plugged into the hub or directly into your machine
  • Manage more devices: Connect storage, up to two 4K displays or one 5K/6K/8K display, multiple accessories...you name it, you can use it
  • Revolutionary development: Reinvents the chain and allows more bus-powered devices
  • Powerful capabilities: Thunderbolt 4 host port keeps notebook powered and charged with up to 60W power delivery
  • Adjustable LED: Customize illumination for your unique work setting
  • Built-in security: Kensington Nano Security Slot™ for anti-theft cabling
  • Official: Thunderbolt-certified for Mac and Windows

Summary: If you have a newer Mac or PC laptop, chances are you are using it for some heavy lifting and will need more ports. The OWC Thunderbolt Hub pretty much does it all, and our only gripe is it would be nice to have one more USB-A slot as this is still very much a standard format, especially for DJs. This hub is a must for anyone working in editing, music, or graphic design.

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OWC Envoy Pro SX 480GB SSD ($229)

Now that you have a super-fast computer and an excellent OWC Hub, the next logical purchase is more storage. We ended up getting an internal 1TB drive on our M1 Pro MacBook Pro, but no matter what, you will need a hard drive to back up your machine and store more considerable projects/content.

The Envoy Pro SX is a remarkable drive for creatives on the go for many different reasons, but let's start with speed. With OWC's Aura Pro SSD storage technology with TRIM support combined with Thunderbolt, you are getting the fastest portable drive out there. Blazing!

We use this smaller drive for our Logic Pro library, samples, and music projects to keep it from clogging up our onboard drive. The 480 GB capacity is just enough, but honestly, we would recommend going all-in on the 2TB version and putting all your stuff on there unless you are doing tons of client work that might need to be separated.

The other great thing about this drive is its build quality and overall rugged factor. It can handle dust, drops, and even water to some degree. So if you are a creative that is out on location a lot and porting around drives, this one can take just about any abuse. OWC also offers a 3-year warranty on top of that so that you can feel confident in your purchase.

These drives are a little more expensive than your standard portable drive, but you are buying a Land Rover Defender here, not a Honda Civic, so you are getting what you pay for in every way.

Summary: If you are looking for the top-of-the-line portable SSD Hard Drive line, you have found it. The 480 GB almost seems like a waste of time, as most creators will need at least a TB, but that's just a small nit-pick. The Envoy Pro SX delivers big on speed and durability, a faithful companion to the creative professional. Don't leave home without it!

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