OWC Mercury On-The-Go SATA Case Review

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

After the futile Tango Pro review, I’m ready for all kinds of unexpected failures in attempting to fit this over-sized hard-drive behemoth into a case designed for regular 2.5″ SATA drives.

OWC was theoretically ready for this situation with their OWC Mercury On-The-Go enclosure. It is available in a variety of port configurations, but I chose the one that offered Firewire 800 support to match my MacBook Pro.

There was one other option, the Oyen Digital MiniPro 2.5-in FireWire/USB enclosure. I could not find any reviews of the minipro, so it didn’t seem right to order it. I even went so far as to contact Oyen Digital via their website and received no response.

Now, I couldn’t find any reviews of the OWC On-The-Go with the larger physical drives, so I first contacted them and confirmed that it would work. OWC support assured me it would work, but for the requirement of a conversion kit.

Ordered both the kit and the enclosure from OWC, received it promptly, and I’ve put it together with the drive this weekend.

It is clear from my time with this setup, that it really is not ready for 12.5 mm drives, even with the kit.

Problems with the OWC are easy to anticipate, it barely accommodates the extra size and at this time, I can’t even remove the hard drive from the enclosure without damaging the circuit board or the plastic portions of the enclosure. The heatsink tray that carries the PCB is separated from the components by two critically placed silicone bumpers. The drive is kept from bouncing around the case by another two bumpers located at the rear of the drive near the air vents on the enclosure. Four screws hold the heatsink/sled in place, they don’t line up properly with the holes in the plastic case.

The drive functions fine, but without the ability to change it out from the enclosure I can’t make a positive recommendation. Unless I’ve made some kind of major mistake in following the provided instructions, this is another failure. Just like with the Tango Pro, I’m sure this OWC enclosure would be fine with a normal drive. I’ll be keeping it, if only because I’m going on a trip in a few days and I don’t anticipate the need to change out the drive, but I’m not a happy customer.