While some users are looking for advanced security features or ruggedized drives to take into the field, many are simply looking for a reliable and fast place to store their data for travel. The Oyen Digital MiniPro 3.1 USB-C Portable Solid-State Drive ($299 for 1TB) does exactly that with its sleek design and fast data transfer speeds. On top of that, it’s one of the most affordable 1TB drives around, offering a combination of speed and value that’s hard to beat. Factor in the inclusion of two types of cables and no weak spot in testing, and the MiniPro 3.1 earns our Editors’ Choice.
Design and Features
Although it isn’t isn’t especially small or unique visually, the MiniPro 3.1 is sleek and looks professional. The sides are grooved and the top has a slightly raised middle section, both for style, while the bottom holds four rubber feet to prevent sliding. The all-aluminum case (ours is black, but it also comes in silver) measures 0.77 by 4.9 by 3.2 inches (HWD) and weighs 10 ounces. It’s not the most portable drive we’ve tested at that size and weight, but it can still be easily tossed into a bag or slipped into a larger pocket. The SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD, a similarly quick drive, measures 0.7 by 5.25 by 3.25 inches and weighs 5.7 ounces, while the G-Technology G-Drive slim SSD USB-C is super thin, but otherwise in the same ballpark at 0.39 by 5.08 by 3.23 inches and 4.48 ounces. The Adata SE730 External SSD is even more portable, at just 0.4 by 1.7 by 2.8 inches and 1.3 ounces.
The MiniPro 3.1 features an On-Off switch, which is related to the optional DC port you can use to power the drive. The adapter is not included, though, so we only used the system on USB-C power. We tested the 1TB capacity version of this drive, though you actually get roughly 950GB of storage in practice once the drive is up and running. The drive is also available in 256GB ($119), 512GB ($179) and 2TB ($729) capacities.
There are no extras beyond USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 support with the MiniPro 3.1—it’s not billed as a rugged or security-focused drive, but as a nicely built option at an attractive price point. It’s formatted for exFAT out of the box, meaning you can switch it between a Mac and a Windows PC without having to reformat the drive. The drive comes with both a USB-C–to–USB-C cable and a USB-C–to–USB 3.0 cable. It is covered by a limited three-year warranty.
As an SSD, the MiniPro 3.1 offers data transfers speeds that are inherently faster than those of hard drives, and it also stacked up well against other SSDs. On the Blackmagic disk speed test over USB 3.0, its write speed was 400MBps and its read speed 427MBps. That’s very similar to the SanDisk Extreme 900, which achieved 417MBps write and 425MBps read. The G-Drive slim SSD was a good bit slower when writing (290MBps) but hung around the same score when reading (427MBps), while the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD was even more lopsided in that direction (138MBps write and 421MBps read).
The MiniPro 3.1 also performed quite well on our file transfer test, which measures how quickly a drive can copy a 1.22GB file. It transferred the file in 4.8 seconds over USB 3.0 and in 4.4 seconds over USB-C—the SSD itself is fast enough that the interface has an almost negligible effect. The G-Drive took 13 seconds to transfer the same file, while the SanDisk Extreme 900 was again very close at 5 seconds via USB 3.0 and 4 seconds via USB-C. Overall, the drive is on the faster side of comparable SSDs, with no particular weak area.
The MiniPro also represents an excellent value. At $299, it comes in at 29 cents per gigabyte. That undercuts the G-Drive’s 38 cents per gigabyte—which is already a good deal—and the SanDisk Extreme 900’s 42 cents per gigabyte. The Samsung Portable SSD T3 offers twice as much storage, but it’s a much pricier proposition at $849.99 and 42 cents per gigabyte.
The Oyen Digital MiniPro 3.1 USB-C Portable Solid-State Drive is a fast, sturdy, and no-fuss SSD. It’s also one of the most affordable options out there, which really raises its appeal despite its lack of any noteworthy extras. If you simply want somewhere to store the files you need on hand at work, home, or on the road, it’s tough to beat the speed and value of the MiniPro, which earns an Editors’ Choice.