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Last week, Transcend released a 1TB version of its JetDrive Lite 330 expansion card for 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, giving users a convenient way to add significant amounts of storage to their machines without any extra bulk . I got to spend some time with the new card, and while there are limits to what you can do with it, the JetDrive Lite 330 can be a very useful addition to your setup.

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While the JetDrive Lite 330 is simply an SD card at heart, its novelty is that it’s designed specifically to be flush with the edge of the MacBook Pro, allowing you to leave the card on at all times without worry. A normal sized SD card was damaged by a card or slot that protruded slightly.

The JetDrive Lite 330 has a slim plastic face that rests on the side of the MacBook Pro, providing enough surface area to stick a nail behind it to remove the card. It’s a simple yet great design that almost guarantees the card will stay in place during everyday use, packing your machine in and out of bags, and more.

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Transcend says the JetDrive Lite 330 card offers read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 75MB/s per second, and I came close to that in my tests, with the Blackmagic Speed ‚Äč‚ÄčTest at around 90MB/s per second. seconds. s and 75MB/s respectively. That’s, of course, more than an order of magnitude slower than the internal SSD in a MacBook Pro or even external Thunderbolt or USB 3.1+ drives, but for some tasks, it’s certainly sufficient.

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Given the transfer speeds, you definitely can’t use the JetDrive Lite 330 as a boot drive or anything that you’re reading and writing data from that fast. It’s not just designed for those tasks, but it’s great as additional built-in storage for documents, media, and other types of data.

A popular use case for the JetDrive Lite is as an integrated Time Machine backup drive, and the new 1TB capacity option makes it a more affordable solution than ever. My 16-inch MacBook Pro has a 1TB SSD, but only about 230GB is currently used. It’s often recommended that the Time Machine drive be at least two or three times larger than the drive you’re backing up to have enough space to save a substantial amount of history, so this new 1TB JetDrive Pro 330 for me Absolutely right. As a test case.

This should be obvious, but it’s important to note that Time Machine’s built-in storage isn’t an ideal solution, because if your Mac is lost or stolen, so is your backup. I back up an Apple Time Capsule at home (offsite backup would be even more secure to protect against major damage like a fire or break-in in the house), but I’m currently traveling a lot internationally and the JetDrive Lite is a great one. Way to help me with any type of backup without the need for an online service or potentially cumbersome external drive solution.

Setting up the JetDrive Lite as a Time Machine drive was incredibly simple, as the card was recognized as a standard drive in the Finder immediately after insertion and then shown as an available backup destination in Time Machine settings . Once I selected it and started Time Machine, it took a little over 80 minutes to complete the initial backup. Subsequent backups haven’t taken more than a minute or two as Time Machine looks for changes and inserts 500MB or more onto the card.

Overall, the backups are a lot quicker and easier than my normal Time Machine backups over Wi-Fi on my Time Capsule’s at-home spinning hard drive. Navigating through Time Machine backups is also easy.

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Once I finish my international trips and get back to doing regular backups at home, I’ll be able to use the JetDrive Lite 330 more for general storage, perhaps bringing in some music and photos that are currently live on an external drive. It’s nice to have access to it directly from my Mac without worrying about moving the external drive.

Apple charges $400 to double the storage from a 1TB MacBook Pro to 2TB, and a single fast 2TB drive certainly has some advantages over this JetDrive Lite solution, but the reverse is also true. The JetDrive Lite offers additional flexibility as it can be easily attached after the fact and removed as needed for secure storage or transferred to another machine.

1TB Jetdrive Lite 330 Available now from Amazon for $249.99And for those who don’t need much storage, cheaper 512GB, 256GB and 128GB options are also available.

In addition to the latest 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, the JetDrive Lite 330 is also compatible with 13-inch MacBook Pro models (late 2012 to early 2015) and Transcend offers. Other Jetdrive Lite Products To fit various 2010-2017 MacBook Air and 2012-2015 MacBook Pro models with different SD card slot designs.

transcend offer a jetdrive toolbox App for Mac and Windows that supports some features like tools to recover deleted files and automatically unmount and remount cards based on your machine standby state to save power, but unfortunately, It does not support Mac based on M1.

Note: Transcend provided the JetDrive Lite 330 to MacRumors for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner of Amazon. When you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.