Laptops are much lighter, slimmer and smaller in the 21st century, which is all well and good, but all that means that you lose one major thing, storage. This is a problem that is soon to be solved however with the introduction of Transcend’s new JetDrive Lite cards which allow you to increase the storage on your MacBook by simply plugging a microSD like card into your card reader.
These are available in a number of sizes for the various MacBooks that are available, but for this review we will be looking at the Transcend JetDrive Lite 330 card for the Retina MacBook Pro, which has a total of 64GB of storage.
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The fact that it simply sits in the card reader makes the JetDrive Lit super easy to install, in fact it only took me a couple of seconds to slot it in the port, and then access the card on my MacBook.
The problem with this flush fit is that it makes the JetDrive Lite a nearly permanent fixture, and removing the card is pretty much impossible if you don’t have fingernails like me, however if you know someone with fingernails or have long fingernails already, then you’re pretty much set, and removing the card will take just a couple of seconds.
On their website, Transcend states that the JetDrive Lite can achieve read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 60MB/s, a statement that I first thought might be a little overzealous, but surprising they actually aren’t.
Using the benchmark app, BlackMagic Disk Speed Test (available from the Mac App Store) I found that the drive achieved an average write speed of around 63MB/s and an average read speed of around 87MB/s, which is pretty darn decent for a drive so small.
However that said, I wouldn’t advice using it for things like watching high-definition videos or playing games from, more advanced things like that should stick to your MacBook’s internal SSD. It will be great for things like storing music libraries, documents or Time Machine backups, three things that you really want on a portable drive, as it means you can take it from computer to computer.
For more information you can see the full results from one of our speed tests to the right.
Whilst actually using the drive I didn’t find any problems at all during any of my testing, at first the drive simply pops into your card port and its ready to go, you can reformat it if you choose, but for the most part its default formatting will work perfectly fine with any MacBook that is supported by the drive.
During my tests I used the drive to store various documents, and music files (10GB worth of music files in fact). In total I transferred just over 11GB to the drive at once, which took me about 45 minutes, a decent amount of time for that amount of storage.
All in all I would definitely recommend the Transcend JetDrive Lite to anyone, given that it’s pretty much the best option for expanding your MacBook’s storage without fuss right now, it is definitely worth giving a go.
And if that’s not enough, you should also consider the JetDrive’s build quality, manufactured with advanced chip-on-board technology, it is water, dust and shock resistant, meaning that you can take it more or less anywhere, and still keep your data safe.
In total there are four versions of the JetDrive Lite available, The JetDrive Lite 130 64GB/ 128GB, the JetDrive 330 64GB, JetDrive Lite 350 64GB/ 128GB and the JetDrive Lite 360 64GB/ 128GB.
Be warned however, these are only available for some of the MacBooks, for all the details on which fits which, check out the table below, you can find out more information on the drives themselves and on their pricing on Transcend’s website.