Here's our visit to the OWC booth at COMPUTEX 2023 showcasing impressive peripherals and equipment
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Here's our visit to the OWC booth at COMPUTEX 2023 showcasing impressive peripherals and equipment

May 20, 2023

During our visit to COMPUTEX 2023 last week, we had the opportunity to explore OWC's booth. Initially, we perceived them as just another competitor in the storage device market. However, our perception quickly changed once we saw their impressive lineup.

OWC's products stand out due to their utilization of the Thunderbolt protocol, specifically the widely used Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 versions. They also offer smaller categories like USB 4 and 10GbE adapters, but the primary focus remains on high-speed data transfer.

Take, for instance, their Thunderbolt 3 10GbE adapter, which boasts a durable full metal enclosure. It also includes a silicone bumper case for added protection against drops and damage.

In addition to docks that provide extra USB-C ports, they showcased a compact model featuring an SD card reader, USB-A port, and HDMI 2.0 port.

If you need permanent extensions for expanding the input/output capabilities of your desktop, OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock is an excellent choice. With 13 docks in total, it offers sufficient bandwidth to accommodate up to 5 Thunderbolt devices simultaneously.

A standout product that surpasses the Thunderbolt 3 Dock is the Thunderbolt Go Dock. It boasts the same number of ports but can connect to a wall socket, functioning as a power pass-through to charge your laptop through its 90W USB-C port.

For those seeking a convenient solution to transfer files from a camera to a workstation, there's a dock equipped with a CFexpress reader at the front, allowing for easy plug-and-play functionality.

In terms of storage, OWC presented the Thunderbay 4 multi-drive RAID bay, which can house four 3.5/2.5-inch drives. Alternatively, the ThunderBay 8 accommodates up to eight drives. Setting them up in a RAID configuration and establishing a Thunderbolt connection enables efficient storage management.

Moving up the tier from the ThunderBay 8, OWC showcased the ThunderBay Flex 8. This product resembles a PC and supports U.2 and M.2 drives. It offers RAID striping and features a PCIe expansion slot for various add-ons.

These offerings cater to video editors, providing significant benefits for both current tasks and archiving older content. Additionally, an extra DisplayPort and Thunderbolt port allow easy linking to other devices, providing a valuable bonus.

If you need a portable GPU enclosure without the aesthetics of a "gaming" product, consider the AkiTio Node Titan enclosure. It features a handle that can be easily extended with a single press, allowing for convenient transportation without getting weird gazes and being labeled as a "gamer."

For those seeking a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution to offload media, OWC offers the Jupiter Mini, which runs on TrueNAS Core OS and openZFS. It includes 2x 10GbE ports. Alternatively, the Jellyfish Mobile provides a user-friendly plug-and-play experience. It serves as both an ingest station and transcoding machine, thanks to the Jellyfish Media Engine, managed through the Jellyfish Manager application.

Moving on to external SSDs, the Envoy Express offers a straightforward function and can be attached to the back of a laptop, eliminating any dangling cables.

On the other hand, the Envoy Pro FX emphasizes durability against dust, drops, and water (specific IP rating to be confirmed). Its entire enclosure is constructed from aluminum, and the side fins ensure effective cooling.

OWC's SD cards and CFexpress cards offer varying speeds and can be used with their Innergize software to optimize performance. The card reader duo provides a wide range of port options, but they share a common design feature—a built-in cable beneath the unit, with optional support for USB-C connections. Additionally, a physical write protection lock offers protection against unauthorized access.

Lastly, we have the OWC Accelsior expansion cards, specifically designed for Macs. The smaller version can accommodate four M.2 SSDs, while the longer version has space for up to eight. RAID configuration is available as an optional choice to enhance speed.