Radical Gadget Time: OWC Drive Dock

For the past several months I've been using a piece of OWC technology called the OWC Drive Dock. This gadget surprised me, genuinely – and has proven to change my life in a significant way. Because of this drive dock, I was able to clear out a significant portion of my junk closet. This OWC Drive Dock device is certifiably radical for an old data hoarder like myself.

The model I'm working with is the first version of this drive dock. This was released a while ago, back before they introduced a Thunderbolt 2 version. This drive dock allows me to take almost any hard drive – large or small – and plug in to read like a USB-based external drive.

Because I'm able to very easily plug-and-play a wide variety of drives, it's quite easy to get rid of old computers. I'm no longer hesitant to get rid of or piece out laptops or desktops for future projects. Because I know I'll be able to easily access the media I'd collected or created on any given computer, I feel safe tossing away the parts I don't need.

I am a data hoarder: I get worried that I'll throw a piece of data away that I'll someday miss. Until I happened upon the OWC Drive Dock, I'd dreaded having to take the time to transfer old data from old computers. Instead of taking the time to transfer data to new computers or external drives, I'd left old computers sit and decay.

For most desktop computers, resting alone in the dark of a dry closet is fine. Old computers can sit unmoving for quite some time without significant deterioration. With a laptop computer, on the other hand, letting sit can be disastrous. Some laptop batteries can potentially expand over time, causing damage to the laptop case and potentially start a fire. Search for "swollen laptop battery" and you'll find countless complaints for a bunch of different notebooks.

Inside the OWC Drive Dock is a set of two drive bays. Both are able to accommodate both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s drives, both of which can be accessed individually. Each bay has its own activation button – a physical button, that is, with its own indicator light. With the Drive Dock Thunderbolt 2, users have the option of connecting with USB 3.1 Gen 1 and 2x Thunderbolt cables.

The Drive Dock with Thunderbolt 2 can be purchased for around $270 USD at a wide variety of stores, both off and online. Have a peek at OWC Digital to see stores and view additional details. The Drive Dock original version (with one USB 3.1 connection only) can be had for around $70 through a site like MacSales – which is a steal if you're in the market for one of these devices.