UGREEN M.2 SATA SSD Enclosure Review: Mobile Speed

USB sticks; pfft so 20th century! If you want to join the rest of us in the 21st century, take your hard drive with you! Of course, I’m being facetious here, but with the size of SSDs becoming smaller thanks to the M.2 standard, maybe it’s not such a crazy idea!?

UGREEN M.2 SATA SSD Enclosure
+ FOR
  • Passes through SATA speeds well
  • Very sturdy
- AGAINST
  • Short cable length for some

Buy on Amazon – £16.99

Disclaimer

UGREEN provided this SSD enclosure free of charge in exchange for a full and fair review. No money has exchanged hands and no specifics have been requested to be added to the published article.

Quick Links…

Overview

M.2 SSDs are a Godsend; change my mind! They are small, and easily hidden in a desktop PC build, and take up less space in laptop builds. However, they can also be used with an SSD enclosure to provide the same speed and portability externally and to replace the ubiquitous USB stick in providing mass storage on the go.

The UGREEN M.2 SATA SSD enclosure is a brushed metallic chassis with a Type-C USB port and LED notification on one edge, with the reverse edge providing the push mechanism to open the enclosure.

Specifications

  • Model – CM400
  • Input – USB-C Female
  • Output – M.2 b-key
  • Standard – USB 3.1 Gen 1 – 5Gbps
  • Supported SSD Size – 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280
  • Case Material – Alluminium
  • Dimensions – 119 x 37 x 12mm

In The Box

  • SSD Enclosure
  • Type-A to Type-C USB cable
  • SSD retention pin

Performance & Use

My first thought when unboxing this product was that the lack of any real need to dampen movement, due to SSDs having no moving parts lends itself nicely to this sort of storage solution. This, coupled with the tiny footprint of M.2 SSDs just means this makes even more sense.

Managing to allow 2230/2242/2260/2280 M.2 sizes is an excellent start, and the SSD sledge that fits in the enclosure is very tight, despite being plastic. The aluminium outer shell looks like it can take a beating too.

The enclosure, and by extension the cable included, allows 5Gbps speed when connected to a compatible machine, which fits perfectly with the standard 500-600MBps that an M.2 SATA SSD can achieve at peak read/writes. Additionally, this can be used with the major Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, ChromeOS, and probably Linux distributions such as Ubuntu too).

It’s worth bearing in mind here that there that of the two main communication interfaces that SSDs currently use (namely SATA or the newer, NVMe) only one is supported. The more ubiquitous SATA interface is supported by this M.2 SSD enclosure, and not the newer NVMe (faster) interface. Make sure you don’t get these drives mixed up.

The setup process is incredibly simple. Just be a little bit careful when you put the SSD in and make sure that you use the key retention clip included to keep the SSD in place before you shut the enclosure.

In my tests speeds were to be expected depending on the M.2 SATA SSD added into the enclosure. I used a 500GB WD Red SATA M.2 SSD, and managed to get 550/530MB/s read and writes. That’s exactly what I’d expect from this SSD which is excellent news.

Final Thoughts

At less than £20, you can get something that can protect your M.2 SSD when you’re out and about. Whilst the rise in Cloud computing and thus storage is rampant and ever-increasing, there are still some concerns around privacy and security. Some may still prefer to have some of their most important files on local storage which is where this, and the mass storage it supports, might come in handy.

If you have a spare M.2 SATA SSD, pick one up!

About Craig Bradshaw

Tech enthusiast and Editor-in-Chief of MobileTechTalk

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