First Look: OWC Express 1M2 SSD Delivers USB4 Storage in a Fantastic Way

The OWC Express 1M2 external USB4 SSD is a versatile and high-performing drive that offers over 3GBps transfers with USB4. It works with all USB and Thunderbolt 3/4 ports, making it a convenient option for a wide range of devices. The drive is available unpopulated, allowing users to leverage any NVMe SSD, although the cost may be a bit high when loaded with an SSD. The large size of the drive may also be a downside for some users, but its sturdy design makes it durable.

The OWC Express 1M2 is the first USB4 SSD to hit the market, showcasing the advantages of USB4 and offering Thunderbolt 4-like performance at a more affordable price point. USB4 is a subset of Thunderbolt 4 that offers a 40Gbps maximum transfer rate and is backwards compatible with older USB versions. The OWC Express 1M2 can be connected to any USB port, with its performance varying based on the standard.

The drive is housed in a large silver heatsink case, which is sturdy and well-designed. It measures 5.25 inches long, 2.75 inches wide, and 0.75 inches thick, weighing 9.3 ounces. The drive is slightly bulky but has a business-like appearance and is easy to carry in a backpack or jacket pocket.

The OWC Express 1M2 is available in various capacities, ranging from an unpopulated version for $120 to 8TB for $995. While the drive offers impressive performance, it may run slightly warm to the touch over Thunderbolt 4/USB4 and USB 20Gbps ports, indicating the need for the included heat spreader.

In benchmark tests, the OWC Express 1M2 outperformed other drives, including OWC’s own Envoy Pro FX, in sequential and random tests. The drive exhibited fast performance across different bus types, making it suitable for a wide range of use cases.

Overall, the OWC Express 1M2 is a top-performing external SSD that offers impressive speed and compatibility with various USB and Thunderbolt ports. Users looking for a high-performance and versatile external drive may find the OWC Express 1M2 to be a compelling option.