[REVIEW] : MacBook Pro 2021: JetDrive Lite SD cards come to offer more storage without cluttering

Having lots of storage on your laptop can be useful for many people. Good news, the MacBook Pro 2021 come and take advantage of an interesting solution to gain additional space: JetDrive Lite microSD cards from Transcend. The advantage of this product is very simple: a microSD card not exceeding 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros when inserted. This allows you to have more memory easily without cluttering. However, write and read speeds are quite slow.

Boost the memory of a 2021 MacBook Pro with the JetDrive Lite microSD card

Good news, Transcend has just announced the arrival of expansion cards JetDrive Lite 330 for 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros released in late 2021. Previously, this line was only compatible with most other MacBook models with an SDXC drive. It therefore seemed logical to review this solution on the MacBook Pro 2021again fulfilling this advantage.

If JetDrive Lite maps mean nothing to you, defining them is quite simple and quick. These latter are SD cards whose size allows do not protrude from a MacBook when inserted. They can then be extracted simply with his fingernail. A total of four models are now offered for the 2021 MacBook Pro: 64, 128, 256 and 512 GB.

This allows you to save space on the SSD of your MacBook in order to store files does not require a high speed of writing and reading or even to make a time machine backup. These uses are indeed recommended given that the write speed is a maximum of 75 MB/s, against 95 MB/s in reading.

Jetdrive Lite cards give storage back to 2021 MacBook Pros

The principle of JetDrive Lite cards is well established — we tested one several years ago and the point remains relevant — it consists of having additional storage capacity thanks to an SD card that can be left permanently , inserted into his MacBook Pro. The design of the card is designed in such a way that it protrudes enough to be extracted with a fingernail but to be forgotten the rest of the time. A bit like an integrated USB key.

Everyone will find a use in view of the capacities offered: 64, 128, 256 and 512 GB. It can be a relief space to free up space on an SSD that has become too tight, but Transcend also suggests using it for Time Machine. However, performance may suffer, especially when storing large volumes of small files. However, the card is guaranteed for 5 years.

Since our 2014 test, advertised speeds have increased only slightly. We were entitled to at best 60 MB / s in writing and up to 95 MB / s in reading. With the current cards, the theoretical writing speed is 75 MB/s, that in reading does not move.

It is therefore not a storage medium suitable for all uses, but the approach is nonetheless interesting. The different capacities are sometimes on sale at Amazon (which does not have the 512 GB) or Cdiscount and Rue du Commerce via a third-party seller, the prices range from around thirty euros to €100 depending on the capacities. This JetDrive Lite reference also works with several generations of MacBook Pro 13″ (2012 to 2015).

Storage specialist Transcend has been offering for several years to discreetly increase the storage of Macs with an SD card reader.

These SD cards have a suitable format so that the card is flush and does not protrude from the chassis like a standard format model. The JetDrive Lite 330 versions, initially designed for the 13″ MacBook Pro Retina from 2012 to 2015 (other models from the same manufacturer are designed for the 2010/2017 MacBook Air, or the 15″ MacBook Pro) are also suitable for drives of the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16 inch 2021.

It will thus be possible to have a little more on-board storage, without having to connect an external volume or go to checkout via Apple’s salty options. Be careful however, thestorage use should be considered in terms of card performance, up to 95 MB/s reading and 55 MB/s writing, quite far from what the internal SSD storage of modern Macs offers (up to 7,400 MB/s for the fastest), but sufficient for many uses.