Monday, December 5, 2022
Home SCIENCE Expand your MacBook Pro's storage using the SD card slot

Expand your MacBook Pro’s storage using the SD card slot

Got a new MacBook Pro but worried about filling up the drive? Apple laptops are notoriously difficult to upgrade, but there are other ways to increase your available space at the cost of speed.

Option 1: Transcend’s JetDrive Lite

the JetDrive Lite 330 is the latest version of transcendentMacBook storage expansion. The company previously made similar products for earlier models like the Retina MacBook Pro, but Apple’s decision to remove the SD card slot made the JetDrive go away for a while.

Transcend JetDrive 330 Lite

512 GB, JetDriveLite 330, MBP 14″ and 16″ 21 and rMBP 13″ 12-E15

Increase the storage of your 2021 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro the easy way with Transcend’s JetDrive Lite 330. This expansion fits into your SD card slot and sits flush with the chassis, adding an additional 512GB or 1TB of space.

Now it’s back and ready to go with the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, to which Apple has added an SD card reader. This all-in-one device comes in 512GB and 1TB sizes and works with the latest MacBook Pro models. Please note that the 256GB and 128GB options only work with the older 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina from 2012 to early 2015.


The JetDrive sits flush with your MacBook’s chassis, meaning it won’t stick out and damage your card reader. You can remove it with a fingernail or a fine-pointed object when you want to use the card reader for other purposes or leave it plugged in and enjoy the extra space.

Option 2: BaseQi microSD adapter

The other option is BaseQi 420A microSD adapterwhich offers nearly identical functionality to JetDrive with one caveat: you must provide your own microSD card to add storage.

BaseQi 420A microSD adapter

Available in silver or space gray to match your 2021 MacBook Pro, the adapter sits flush with the chassis and can be easily removed with a sharp fingernail or other thin edge. You can add up to 2TB of storage if you have deep pockets, as it’s the largest microSD card size currently available.

BaseQi 420A microSD adapter
Base Qi

The advantage of choosing the BaseQi adapter is flexibility. You may just want a small amount of extra storage and have spare microSD cards lying around. You can also choose to update your microSD card at a later date. You may be able to shop around to find a cheap microSD card, though the price difference between the two approaches isn’t that significant.

SD card reader is slow

One drawback to this approach that’s worth keeping in mind is that your MacBook Pro’s SD card reader isn’t as fast as the internal drive. Apple confirm UHS-II support on their website, which means that with a compatible UHS-II card you’ll be able to reach speeds of around 300 MB/sec.

This makes any storage sitting in your SD card slot unsuitable for any purpose that needs quick access, including launching apps and editing high-bitrate videos. You can use the SD card to back up your Mac with Time Machine, but keep in mind that this approach might not be ideal, since losing your Mac would mean losing your backup as well.

RELATED: How to back up your Mac and restore files with Time Machine



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