The one thing I never hear anyone complain about is having too much available storage space. No matter how big your hard drive is, you’ll likely fill it up at some point. My everyday work computer is a MacBook Pro 15″ Retina Display with a 1TB SSD and I’m always having to manage the space on it. If I had a 2TB drive at some point I’d need to manage the space on it. This usually means moving older projects, photo shoots, demo files, etc. off of it onto my network file server or trashing stuff I just don’t need anymore. Then I can usually breathe for a while before having to repeat the process. Sure I have a few external USB 3 and Thunderbolt drives I can plug in in a pinch, but there are times where that’s not feasible due to the ports being used for other devices or being in a mobile situation where having a hard drive dangling (not really dangling) off the side doesn’t work either. Apple builds the drives into the logic boards of MacBooks these days. Therefore replacing the internal drive with a larger capacity is not possible.
The Transcend JetDrive is what I wanted
I wanted the ability to quickly and easily add more storage, without having an external “box” or using up any ports. There’s a SDHC card reader that sits there empty most of the time. I only use it when I need to read a memory card from my camera. Then I remembered that there were companies out there making drives to fit FLUSH to the MacBook Pro’s SDHC card slot. My search led me to the Transcend JetDrive Lite 360. This drive comes in capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. It also boasts a speed of 95MB/s READ and 60MB/s WRITE. While those speeds pale by comparison to the internal SSD, they are on par with many external USB 3 drives being sold today. I opted for the 256GB version. This drive will serve as the place where I put things that I’m either currently working on such as a Lightroom tethering session or things that I want to take off the main internal drive, but I’m not home and can’t move them to my server. In other words, nothing permanent. It’s also water/dust resistant and shockproof.
When the drive arrived I took it out of the box and plugged it in to my MacBook Pro. It appeared on the desktop without any additional formatting or setup. Nothing to install. It just works. I wanted to the see the speed so I found the largest thing I could that was just sitting there and it was a 5.8GB video file. It copied faster than I expected it to and certainly fast enough for what I plan to use this drive for. When I ejected it from my operating system, It took a little wiggling to get it out of the slot. That’s probably the only minus is that with an almost flush fit there’s nothing really to grip. Therefore you’ll need fingernails to be able to get it out. A small price to pay for the neat design. Time will tell how it actually holds up with travel and real world use, but I’m happy so far.
The Bottom Line
The Transcend JetDrive Lite 360 is exactly what I wanted in terms of storage that I can leave attached/plugged into my MacBook Pro and treat it like any other internal drive. A near flush fit was also key as I don’t want to have to constantly remove it every time I put my MacBook Pro in my backpack. It has the flexibility of being ejected when needed and even used in a different MacBook Pro. Now I no longer get nervous before needing to add a bunch of files, photos and videos to my computer for work. Yes I know it could/will eventually fill up too, but for now it’s nice seeing over 259.48GB of available space!
The JetDrive Lite 360 comes in different sizes and capacities for different MacBook models:
JetDrive Lite 130 64GB, 128GB and 256GB for MacBook Air 13″ (Late 2010 – Early 2015)