Unboxing the JetDrive 330

My laptop has been limping along for years on a 128GB internal disk.

As you might know, I have quite an extensive photography hobby, and this results in tens of gigabytes per month of new files. I've grown weary of constantly having to juggle what is on the laptop's disk, and how it limits me from exploring other areas like dabbling in video. It even derails software updates and patches.

Now I've decided to do something about it.

I had heard of low-profile expansion cards a few years ago, but this week I finally decided to look into them. The JetDrive Lite 330 from Transcend seemed to fit the bill and had solid ratings on Amazon, so I ordered it.

Happily, it arrived a day early. I took the opportunity to record the unboxing so I could edit it together using the new drive itself. In fact, the reason I had decided to order it was because I wanted to try out some new video software, and it so happened that my paltry internal disk didn't even have enough space to install the app.

(direct link to the YouTube video)

The card fit perfectly into the SD card slot of my 13" MacBook Pro Retina (circa 2014). I formatted it as a macOS case-sensitive and journaled filesystem, because I thought it would be handy to have a case-sensitive volume available for certain software development projects.

One thing to know about SD cards on MacBooks is that the card reader's design intentionally exposes about 50% of the card outside of the laptop. You wouldn't want to be using a regular SD card as a crucial disk, because it could snap off or get jostled loose. Fortunately, Transcend has a matrix of which models of JetDrive pair up with specific laptop models. This helps ensure that the cards are the appropriate depth for each laptop's SD card slot.

I couldn't find my USB-based SD card reader, though, so when I went to pull images off my DSLR, I actually had to remove the JetDrive. It was not the easiest thing to remove, which is a good thing considering it's intended to be a semi-permanent fixture going forward. Because SD cards are normally exposed outside of the laptop, there isn't a spring-based mechanism for ejecting them. This isn't usually an issue - but with the JetDrive, the challenge was primarily in finding the right grip to begin pulling.

So far I am very happy with the purchase. Surprisingly, it was even a bit cheaper on Amazon Canada compared to the US site.

Hopefully this extra storage space means I'll be able to dabble more in the video arena. Thanks for reading & watching!

(Edit: I did eventually find my USB SD card reader. Victory! :) )

Published: May 14, 2019

Categories: reviews

Tags: hardware, unboxing

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