Transcend’s JetDrive Lite 330 expansion card is a great Time Machine option for a MacBook Pro

Transcend’s JetDrive Lite 330 for the MacBook Pro is an expansion card that adds 512GB or 1TB of storage to the laptop. It’s not the perfect way to add super-fast, extra storage, but it is an excellent Time Machine option for the laptop.

As Transcend says, the JetDrive Lite 330 offers “a quick and easy way to gain the additional space you need without adding any bulk to your MacBook computer.” Just insert the JetDrive Lite 330 into the card reader slot on the side of your MacBook Pro and you’ve instantly boosted your storage capacity.

It sticks out slightly — which is actually a good thing. The protrusion makes it relatively easy to use a fingernail to remove it when needed.

The expansion card delivers read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 75MB/s. That’s not as fast as an external SSD, but isn’t too much slower than a traditional hard disk. 

Since I have a lot of videos and photos, I use an external SSD for such data. I use the 1TB JetDrive Lite for Time Machine backups. Plug the expansion card in, and it will show up as an available disk in Time Machine settings.

With this set-up, I no longer need two external drives connected to my MacBook (one for storing data; one for back-ups). Plus, with my Time Machine back-ups now going to the JetDrive Lite expansion card, I have built-in back-up when I’m traveling with my Mac laptop.

At Amazon, the 1TB JetDrive Lite costs US$249. The 512B version is $119.99.

Other than MacBook Pro 2021, the JetDrive Lite 330 also supports MacBook Pro (Retina) 13″ (Late 2012~Early 2015). Transcend provides other JetDrive Lite expansion cards, which are specifically designed for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers to suit the different slot dimensions of each model.

Also, the folks at Transcend say JetDrive Lite expansion cards are manufactured using advanced COB (chip-on-board) technology, making them resistant to water, dust, and shock. 

Review overview


The Pros

  • Easy way to add extra storage
  • Easy to use
  • reasonably priced

The Cons

  • Not as fast as an external SSD


9Transcend’s JetDrive Lite 330 won’t replace an external SSD for many folks. But it will for some — and offers a great Time Machine backup option for everyone.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.