Plugable has been rapidly expanding its portfolio, adding in storage and dock solutions over the last year.
The latest comes on the heels of the Portable NVMe SSD they released, and we reviewed late last year. The USB 3.1 Gen 2 NVMe enclosure is the first to offer tool-free setup of your drives with support for 2230,2260 and 2280 lengths. M.2 NVMe drives are the only interface supported leaving out cheaper m.2 SATA options for use with this enclosure. Marketing specifications are offering 900 MB/s read/write depending on the drive used; no drive is included in the box. This drive uses a USB-C interface with 10Gbps capability but is backwards compatible with USB 3.0 Type-C interface with the included cable.
Compatibility includes Windows and macOS systems. MSRP of the Plugable NVMe USB 3.1 Gen 2 Enclosure comes in at $69.99 with a one year warranty.
Packaging offers branding above and an image of the drive centered.
The back goes into more detail with a full specification list, package contents and features to the right.
The scope of delivery includes the enclosure, thermal pads, and cables.
The enclosure uses an aluminum design with an array of fins on both sides and ventilation on the sides.
The end offers the USB-C connection while the opposite side features a locking mechanism.
Opening up the drive, we have the NVMe m.2 keyed slot to the right and tool-free rubber on the left. This part of the enclosure is a plastic frame with the PCB mounted supporting with locating holes for 2230, 2260 and 2280 m.2 drives.
For comparison, we have the M2X from MyDigitalSSD next to the Plugable solution.
With our sample, Plugable sent over a Samsung 970 EVO 250GB SSD. Performance reached 874 MB/s read, and 881 MB/s write.
Our secondary benchmark of choice was the Disk Speed Test. Here we have a slight bump to 957 MB/s read, and 940 MB/s write.
Closing this out, the Tool-Free capability is what makes this solution fantastic. Having the ability to quickly swap drives when needed is certainly leaps and bounds above pulling a batch of screws and yanking the PCB. Build quality does take a hit on the Plugable as the USB-C connection is housed in plastic making it more susceptible to damage if dropped.
The performance was perfect and on par with the previously tested M2X when using the same drive. I was able to reach 874 MB/s read, and 881 Write in CDM, and 957 MB/s read, and 940 MB/s write-in DST.
Overall, both solutions mentioned above have a place in the market, the Plugable is undoubtedly going to be preferable for those that have multiple drives they need to swap around while the M2X is more of a device you will install a drive in and leave it. That said, both enclosures offer the same performance using the 970 EVO provided for testing taking full advantage of Gen 2 USB 3.1
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
Plugable has it figured out, the Portable NVMe Enclosure is my new go to solution for testing m.2 via USB-C.
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