PR_SuperSlim9.5

Review: OWC SuperSlim External SuperDrive Enclosure

Posted in Mac, Reviews on 21/06/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler

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I’ve been tampering with SSDs for a while now, and have discovered that common frustration among users who replace their optical drive with an extra hard drive or SSD: What to do with the optical drive you removed? OWC has just released their answer. Read on for our full review.

Overview

The OWC SuperSlim External SuperDrive Enclosure is one of the very few external DVD enclosures that supports the ultra-slim 9.5mm slot-loading optical drives that Apple is using in their portable Macs these days. The enclosure, while simple, does the job swiftly and effectively, and with a minimum of hassle.

Initial Thoughts

OWC’s super-slim enclosure may be constructed of plastic, which initially seemed like a weakness to me, but in all reality, this was an excellent choice of material on their part – it allows for a very thin and light solution that you can take anywhere. OWC’s enclosure is very simple to use, and installs very quickly and painlessly, and comes with instructions, and everything you need to perform the task.

Ease Of Install

The ultimate strength of OWC’s SuperDrive enclosure is it’s simplicity of setup – a single screw is all that is require to securely add or remove your SuperDrive from the caddy, and the whole process only takes a few moments to complete, after which you are completely ready to use the device.

Performance

In my experience, the caddy performed very well, although it can’t handle having objects on top of it, as this causes the drive within the enclosure not to perform correctly (probably due to the flexible plastic used for its construction). It’s bad practice to stack things on your optical drive at any rate, so this isn’t a major point of negation.

The drive mounts quickly, and is easily recognized by all apps except the DVD Player app within OS X. This, however, is due to constraints of the operating system, and not an issue with the enclosure itself. The drive was able to read data and video at acceptable speeds without any lag.

Verdict

The OWC SuperSlim enclosure is well build, a solid performer, and thin and light enough to toss in your laptop bag without having to worry about the weight. Although it’s priced at $50, which you could purchase an entire external optical drive for, complete with enclosure, this unit not only functions as an external optical drive, but also solves the problem of what to do with the SuperDrive you removed from your Mac.

Conclusion & Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5

For its solid performance, thin profile, and light weight, I award the OWC SuperSlim a 4 out of 5, detracting a single point because of the price, which seems high at first glance. Here’s a look at a few of the pros and cons of the new OWC enclosure:

Pros

  • Thin and light.
  • Easy to install and remove an optical drive.
  • A fast, high-performance, and effective solution for storing and using your SuperDrive.
  • Does not require an AC adapter – runs off of USB

Cons

  • Price is a bit high considering the price of external optical drives.

Overall, OWC’s SuperSlim enclosure is a great solution to an all-too-common problem, and I recommend it as the easiest solution available for storing and getting some use out of your now-external Apple SuperDrive. For more information, or to purchase the OWC SuperSlim enclosure ($49.95), visit OWC’s product page on the web.



Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.