Last week, Transcend launched a 1TB version of its JetDrive Lite 330 expansion card for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, giving users a convenient way to add significant amounts of storage to their machines without any extra bulk. I've had a chance to spend some time with the new card, and while there are limitations for some of the things you might want to do with it, the JetDrive Lite 330 can be a very handy addition to your setup.

transcend jetdrive box
While the JetDrive Lite 330 is at its heart simply an SD card, the novel aspect of it is that it's designed to specifically fit flush with the MacBook Pro's edge, allowing you to essentially leave the card inserted at all times without having to worry about the card or the slot being damaged from pressure being put on a normal-sized SD card that sticks out a bit.

The JetDrive Lite 330 has a thin plastic face that rests up against the edge of the MacBook Pro, and it provides just enough of a surface to get a fingernail behind it to remove the card. It's a simple but great design that all but guarantees the card will stay in place throughout day-to-day usage, packing your machine in and out of a bag, and more.

transcend jetdrive inserted
Transcend says the JetDrive Lite 330 card offers read speeds of up to 95 MB/s and write speeds of up to 75 MB/s per second, and I came close to that in my testing, with Blackmagic Speed Test registering roughly 90 MB/s and 75 MB/s respectively. That's of course well over an order of magnitude slower than the internal SSD on a MacBook Pro or even a Thunderbolt or USB 3.1+ external drive, but for certain tasks, it's definitely sufficient.

transcend jetdrive speed test
Given the transfer speeds, you definitely can't use the JetDrive Lite 330 as a boot drive or anything where you're rapidly reading and writing data. It's simply not designed for those tasks, but it's ideal as some extra onboard storage for documents, media, and other types of data.

One popular use case for the JetDrive Lite is as an onboard Time Machine backup drive, and the new 1 TB capacity option makes this a more reasonable solution than ever. My 16-inch MacBook Pro has a 1 TB SSD, but only about 230 GB is currently used. It's frequently recommended that your Time Machine drive be at least two or three times as large as the drive you're backing up, in order to have enough room to save a sufficient amount of history, so this new 1 TB JetDrive Pro 330 is perfect for me as a test case.

It should be obvious, but it's important to note that onboard Time Machine storage isn't an ideal solution, as if your Mac is lost or stolen, so is your backup. I back up to an Apple Time Capsule at home (offsite backups would be even safer to protect against larger losses such as a fire or home burglary), but I'm currently doing a lot of international travel and the JetDrive Lite is a great way to tide me over with some sort of backup without needing an online service or potentially cumbersome external drive solutions.

Setting the JetDrive Lite up as a Time Machine drive was incredibly simple, with the card being recognized as a standard drive in Finder immediately after insertion, and then showing up in Time Machine settings as an available backup destination. Once I selected it and initiated Time Machine, it took a little over 80 minutes to complete the initial backup. Subsequent backups have taken no more than a minute or two as Time Machine looks for changes and pushes 500 MB or so onto the card.

Overall, backups are actually much faster and smoother than my usual Time Machine backups over Wi-Fi to the spinning hard drive of my Time Capsule at home. Browsing through Time Machine backups is also smoother.

transcend jetdrive bananaBanana for scale

Once I'm done with my international travels and back to regularly backing up at home, I'll be able to make more use of the JetDrive Lite 330 for general storage, perhaps bringing some music and photos over that currently live on external drives. Having all of that accessible right from my Mac without having to worry about carrying external drives is nice.

Apple charges $400 to double the storage on a MacBook Pro from 1 TB to 2 TB, and of course a single speedy 2 TB drive has certain benefits over this JetDrive Lite solution, but the reverse is also true. The JetDrive Lite offers additional flexibility as it can be easily added after the fact and can be removed as needed for safe storage or transfer to another machine.

The 1 TB JetDrive Lite 330 is available now for $249.99 from Amazon, and for those who don't need as much storage, there are cheaper 512 GB, 256 GB, and 128 GB options also available.

In addition to the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models from 2021, the JetDrive Lite 330 is also compatible with 13-MacBook Pro models (Late 2012 through Early 2015 generations), 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 offers a JetDrive Toolbox app for Mac and Windows that supports a couple of functions like tools for recovering deleted files and automatically unmounting and remounting the card depending on your machine's standby status in order to save power, but unfortunately, it's not compatible with M1-based Macs.

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

Top Rated Comments

Jack Neill Avatar
9 weeks ago

Banana for scale is ?
Americans will do anything to avoid using the metric system...
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ANDJOE Avatar
9 weeks ago
Banana for scale is ?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freeangel1 Avatar
9 weeks ago
WOW. $249 for a 1TB SD Card. You can get an external 1TB drive for $49.

recession is coming.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jpmorgan-ceo-warns-powerful-forces-164626735.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TinyMito Avatar
9 weeks ago
$249 for SD Card, why not just upgrade the internal to 1TB?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
9 weeks ago
I was about to write off this entire article, but the banana scale pulled it out of the fire!

??
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
topdrawer Avatar
9 weeks ago
250 and they couldn't even do a metal edge to match the MacBook.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Reviews: Faster Performance, But Consider Waiting for New MacBook Air

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:17 am PDT by
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a faster M2 chip launches this Friday. Ahead of time, early reviews of the notebook have been shared by some YouTube channels and media outlets, offering a hands-on look at the performance improvements. The only notable change to the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the M2 chip, which features an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU. Apple said the M2 chip has up to an 18%...
dji mini pro 3 1

Review: DJI's Mini 3 Pro is Tiny, Fun to Fly and Takes Great Videos

Thursday June 2, 2022 9:10 am PDT by
DJI recently announced the Mini 3 Pro, its lightest weight Pro drone that is a successor to other Mini drones that it has sold in the past. The Mini 3 Pro brings high-end camera quality, a tri-directional object avoidance system, and an expansive feature set to one of the smallest form factors that DJI offers. I'll start this review with the disclaimer that I am by no means a drone expert,...
chipolo card spot 1

Review: Chipolo's Find My-Enabled 'CARD Spot' is Ideal for Keeping Tabs on a Wallet

Thursday February 24, 2022 9:48 am PST by
Chipolo is an item tracking company that has embraced Apple's Find My network, and last May, it came out with one of the first Find My-enabled third party accessories, the Chipolo ONE Spot. Identical to the AirTag in almost every way, the Chipolo ONE Spot didn't have an edge over Apple's own item tracking solution, but Chipolo's $35 CARD Spot accessory beats out the AirTag when it comes to wallet ...
ugreen gan x charger2

Review: Ugreen's 4-Port GaN X USB-C Charger Offers Up to 100W Output in a Compact Design

Thursday March 31, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
Anyone invested in the Apple ecosystem will have had to confront the need for multiple USB-C ports when they're home and away, with iPhones, iPads, and Macs all vying for the connectivity these days. But in many cases, there's still a lingering need for USB-A to charge older devices, and that's where Ugreen's 4-in-1 100W GaN X Fast Charger comes in handy. The charger packs three USB-C ports...
macbook pro 2021 verge

MacBook Pro Reviews: Fast Performance, Added Ports, and ProMotion Displays Check All the Boxes

Monday October 25, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will begin arriving to customers this Tuesday, October 26, and ahead of time, the embargo has lifted on the first reviews of the notebooks across media publications and YouTube channels. Image Credit: The Verge We've rounded up more video reviews of the new MacBook Pro models in a separate story, while highlights from written reviews can be ...
1 sony xm5

Review: Sony's WH-1000XM5 Headphones Don't Fold, But Do Sound Better Than Ever

Friday May 27, 2022 10:23 am PDT by
Sony this week launched the updated version of its premium flagship noise-canceling headphones. If your only interest is how the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony stack up against Apple's $549 AirPods Max, be sure to check out our direct comparison. The following is a standalone review of Sony's latest headphones. Since they launched in August 2020, Sony's WH-1000XM4 headphones have been among the...
mac studio size reference

Mac Studio Reviews: Faster Than a $13,000 Mac Pro

Thursday March 17, 2022 6:12 am PDT by
Apple's all-new Mac Studio desktop computer launches this Friday. Ahead of time, the first reviews and unboxing videos for the Mac Studio have surfaced, providing us with a closer look at the machine and its companion Studio Display. Performance While the Mac Studio resembles a larger Mac mini, it is far more powerful. The computer can be configured with the same M1 Max chip available for...
caldigit element hub

Review: CalDigit's Element Hub Delivers Flexible Thunderbolt and USB Support

Thursday January 13, 2022 12:23 pm PST by
Recent advancements in Thunderbolt technology have brought the ability to include multiple downstream Thunderbolt ports on various docks and hubs, and CalDigit's Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub introduced earlier this year does just that in the form of a compact dock supporting Thunderbolt 4 and USB4. I've long been a fan of CalDigit's Thunderbolt hubs, and I've been using the company's TS3 Plus...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

M2 13-Inch MacBook Pro With 256GB SSD Appears Slower Than Equivalent M1 in Real-World Speed Tests

Monday June 27, 2022 1:57 pm PDT by
Benchmark testing has indicated that the 256GB variant of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip offers slower SSD performance than its M1 equivalent, and now real-world stress testing by YouTuber Max Yuryev of Max Tech suggests that the 256GB SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Pro is also underperforming in day-to day-usage. The M2 MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM was slower than the M1 MacBook ...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
M2 Pro and Max Feature

Apple's Upcoming M2 Pro Chip for High-End MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Will Reportedly Be 3nm

Monday June 27, 2022 7:31 am PDT by
TSMC will manufacture Apple's upcoming "M2 Pro" and "M3" chips based on its 3nm process, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes. "Apple reportedly has booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors," said DigiTimes, in a report focused on competition between chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to secure 3nm chip orders. As expected, the report said TSMC will...
Apple 5G Modem Feature Triad

Kuo: Apple's Work on 5G Modem Chip 'Failed,' Qualcomm to Remain Supplier for 2023 iPhones

Tuesday June 28, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
For the last several years, Apple has been working to develop its own 5G modem chip so that it won't need to rely on Qualcomm as a supplier, but according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's efforts "may have failed." Kuo says that his "latest survey" suggests that development on the chip has stalled, which means Qualcomm would remain the exclusive supplier for 5G chips for the 2023...