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It happens all the time. You get a brand-new Mac, and you can’t imagine a time when the hard drive could possibly be full. About a week later--after you’ve installed all of your applications and you’ve edited one movie--you’re stuck deciding which season of Doctor Who to delete so you can make room for all those boring PowerPoint files you need for work.
To take the sting out of the case of the incredibly shrinking drive space, OtherWorldComputing has updated the OWC Mercury line with 7200RPM triple-interface external drives. Available in 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB sizes, the drive has two FireWire 800 ports and a USB 2.0 port. “Wait a second,” you’re saying to yourself, “that’s only two interfaces. What’s this ‘triple’ business?” For the old-school MacBook and PowerBook users among us, OWC has tossed in a FireWire 400-to-800 cable, along with a USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 cable. And the whole setup can be crammed into a black carrying case.
Fancy bags and sweet extra cables aside, the OWC Mercury On-The-Go “Triple” backs up its host of accessories with great transfer speeds and solid performance over sustained use. While editing non-native video in Final Cut Pro, we didn’t encounter a single dropped frame or slow import. After that, we threw Snow Leopard on the drive and spent the day pushing it hard as our startup disk. Using XBench, the drive impressed us with write speeds up to 58MB per second and read speeds up to 74MBps when connected to our MacBook Pro via FireWire 800.
The OWC Mercury also has something missing from most portable external drives: an on/off switch. After ejecting a drive, having to unplug it to save energy seems, well, like a waste of energy. It’s a small thing, but it’s a nice addition.