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This rugged tape recorder could be the ultimate cloud storage beater

OWC Mercury Pro LTO - $4,499.00 direct
(roughly £3,500/AU$6,300)
This LTO-8 tape drive from OWC has a few handy features that helps it stand out from the competition, including a Thunderbolt-3 port for added connectivity options. Check it out!View Deal

While we are awaiting the arrival of the first LTO-9 tapes, US-based OWC has unveiled an LTO-8 tape drive called the Mercury Pro LTO - and it stands out for a number of reasons.

It is one of the few that is equipped with a Thunderbolt-3 port (two actually) and can even charge a laptop (up to 85W) and connect to an 8K monitor or docking station.

For comparison, the competition tends to have an SAS (serial-attached SCSI) interface, which is popular in enterprise and large businesses but not amongst prosumers.

There’s also a useful staging feature that allows you to add an SSD or HDD of your own to enhance your workflow and for extra backup capacity.

Speaking of capacity, each tape offers a native capacity of 12TB with 30TB compressed storage (using an industry-wide standard compression ratio of 2.5:1). Native transfer rates can reach 360MBps native or up to 900MBps compressed. And as for pricing, you can get LTO-8 tapes for less than $100.

The OWC Mercury Pro LTO tape drive retails for $4,499 (roughly £3,500/AU$6,300) without any staging drive, but with OWC’s myLTO software, a free LTO-8 tape and a cleaning tape.

It is significantly more expensive than comparable devices, but is worth the extra premium given the additional features it offers, such as a 5-year warranty and lifetime support.

OWC has confirmed that the drive should be upgradable to LTO-9, which offers 50% extra capacity and much higher sustained transfer rates, assuming the form factors and interfaces remain the same.

Bear in mind

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