QR Code contains TinyURL of this article.Transcend JetDrive Lite

One thing I missed when I got my new MacBook was the Nifty MiniDrive I had installed in my 13″ model.

The Nifty MiniDrive is a custom caddy for a microSD card. The design of the MiniDrive makes it suitable for a semi-permanent increase in available storage. I used mine with a 64‍GB SanDisk card.

MicroSD cards are slow, slower even than a mechanical hard drive. But I liked having an off-disk storage area for temporary files and downloads.

Unfortunately, Nifty don’t yet make a MiniDrive for the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro. So I looked for an alternative…

Transcend JetDrive Lite installed in a MacBook.
Transcend JetDrive Lite installed in a MacBook.

I found it in the Transcend JetDrive Lite 360 (who comes up with these names?) This differs from the MiniDrive in two significant ways:

  1. It doesn’t sit flush with the MacBook’s chassis;
  2. It’s a regular SDHC card, so it’s faster than the MiniDrive/microSD card combination.

Now, when I say that it doesn’t sit flush with the chassis, that is in no way a disadvantage. The JetDrive has a lip that protrudes by a couple of millimetres. Just enough for you to get a grip on it with your fingernails should you need to remove it.

Transcend JetDrive Lite installed in a MacBook.
Transcend JetDrive Lite installed in a MacBook.

As you can see from the images above, the protrusion is enough to aid in its removal. At the same time, it’s small enough that you can slide the computer in and out of a sleeve without snagging. It’s small enough for you to forget it’s there.

Transcend advertise the performance of the JetDrive as: reads at 95‍MB‍/s and writes at 60‍MB‍/s. I have recorded writes at 33‍MB‍/s and reads at 76.3MB‍/s in my own testing.1  This is somewhat less than advertised, but faster than the MiniDrive I used in my previous MacBook.

As with the MiniDrive, I use the JetDrive for my Dropbox, Google Drive and Downloads folder. I have also configured OS X to save screen-captures to it by default and I write all my temporary files to it.

All in all, it’s a nice little drive. It’s fast enough as a scratch disk. It’s durable (resistant to water, dust, shock, magnetism and x-rays), cheap and capacious.2

I like it a lot and recommend it without reservation.

  1. Using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test software. ↩︎

  2. It’s available in both 64‍GB and 128‍GB versions. ↩︎