One of the things that happens when you replace the SSD in a computer with another one is that you end up with a collection of SSDs -- solid state drives. These make great monster USB drives, in size and in capacity.
The SSD I pulled from my Dell Latitude, however, was the rarely-seen smallest size. M.2 SSDs can be made in one of four official sizes. Most are the largest size, known as 2280, which is short for 22mm wide and 80mm long. The one in my Dell was 2230 -- 22mm wide by 30mm long. Remarkably, the capacity is 512GB.
I looked for a small case, but they are harder to find than hen's teeth. Amazon sure doesn't carry any. I didn't want a long SSD case for a short SSD. Then I found one at Aliexpress: the Zebra2230 from JEYI.
It is pretty low in cost, yet made of aluminum, and comes with both USB-C to C and USB-A to C cables. The case is an inch wide and just over two inches long -- great for portability. A single screw holds the SSD tight inside the case, and keeps the cover closed, too; screwdriver is included. The orange stuff is thermal pads that transmit heat from the SSD to the case; SSDs can get hot when lots of data is written to them.
In practice, the drive works well as a monster 512GB USB drive that cost me only $20 (incl. shipping). It was recognized automatically by my Windows computer, Chromebook laptop, Android phone, and the Hidizs portable music player.
When connected, a subtle blue LED lights up and then turns to flashing green when data is being read or written. The sustained read and writes speeds, according to Windows, are:
- USB-A connector - 25MB/second read and write
- USB-C connector -- 600MB/sec read from the drive (to the computer) and 400MB/sec write to the drive
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I did have one hiccough. The first USB-C cable I tried, which I picked off my desk at random, did not work; the computer did not see the new drive. No fault of the drive enclosure: all other USB-C cables I tried worked correctly.