Here’s the best MacBook upgrade you can buy for under $50

Chris Burns - Jun 17, 2014
Here’s the best MacBook upgrade you can buy for under $50

Working with a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air released in the past few years means having an SD card slot for quick data transfer. What we’re looking at today is the relatively unknown world of 3rd-party products aiming to make use of that slot for non-traditional purposes. With the Transcend JetDrive Lite 360, we’re expanding storage for our MacBook at a fraction of the cost of built-in storage.

First we’ll have a peek at the amount of cash you need to pay to upgrade your storage straight from Apple. With a 15-inch MacBook Pro or 13-inch MacBook Air, the smallest amount of storage you get is 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage. To get an upgrade to 512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage, you’ll have to add $300 USD to your base price.

A 128GB Transcend JetDrive Lite 360 storage expansion card will cost you $79.99. Even two cards (at around $160 total) bringing you p to that extra 256GB doesn’t cost half as much as the same storage built-in. While other solutions do exist – like “The MiniDrive” microSD adaptor – we’ve found one-piece solutions such as the one we’re looking at today to be more reliable.


The model we’re looking at today goes by the name “Transcend JetDrive Lite 360 64GB Storage Expansion Card for 15-Inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (TS64GJDL360).” You’ll find it for $39.99 USD and it’ll fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (late 2013) like a glove.


The company also makes models that fit specifically with a number of Apple notebooks specific to their make and model. In this post you’ll see the card with a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air.


Above you’ll see a speed test done with the card. Real-life file transfer rolls in at 25.4 seconds for a 1.5GB file – all of these tests being run on the late 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro base model.


Sound like a good solution to you? Make with the scratch disk and keep your data outside of your main machine!

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