This Compact Case for M.2 2230 SSDs Looks Incredibly Sleek

M.2 2230 external storage device
(Image credit: eBay listing)

Whether you've built your own portable SSD or have an old drive lying around you want for backups, there are a number of reasons why an external M.2 SSD case might be appealing. However, it has been difficult to find M.2 SSD cases which are designed solely to accommodate the most compact M.2 2230 form factor drives. A post by the AKIBA PC Hotline drew our attention to an attractive looking M.2 2230-only solution: very small with aluminum alloy construction and a USB 3.2 Gen2 connection for up to 1,000 MB/s transfers.

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M.2 2280 SSD external drive cases are easy to find, and you can get them from mainstream storage brands like Sabrent. They are particularly useful when you upgrade a system and end up with a spare M.2 stick, for example. Most commonly sized to accommodate up to M.2 2280 drives, they are also typically compatible with smaller sticks like 2242 and 2230.

When purchasing an external M.2 enclosure, buyers should also watch out for some other specs. Pay attention to the M.2 key interface supported (B-key, B&M-key, or M-key) for NGFF, SATA and / or NVME drive support. This headlining M.2 2230 model supports the M-key, so bear that in mind.

Another thing to watch out for, on the technical side of things, is the interface and transfer speeds supported. Here, the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connector is claimed to support a little over 1,000 MB/s transfers both ways.

(Image credit: eBay listing)

This enclosure looks nice with an aluminum alloy case, a magnetic removable cap, and two simple cross head screws covering up your installed drive. An activity LED appears on the top of the device, above a bull’s head logo. The device size is a compact 40 x 40 x 8mm, and it is claimed to be 25 grams in weight.

Some other info from the listings suggest this M.2 2230 case has safe eject and hibernation auto-power off, and is supported on both Windows and Linux systems without a driver.

We have found the same M.2 case available for sale on both eBay US and eBay UK. The devices are sold by a Chinese distributor for $16.43 and £17.45, respectively. The price includes shipping. We haven’t tested this storage accessory, but the source seems to be quite pleased with the device. In Japan it is said to cost ¥2480, which is about $17.

(Image credit: eBay listing)

If you don’t have a spare M.2 2230 drive yet, you probably will have after you upgrade a PC gaming handheld like the Steam Deck or ROG Ally. Thankfully higher capacity 2230 drives are now starting to become more common, including in some gaming laptops, and you can check out the best M.2 2230 drives in our recent roundup.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Andrew Fox
    While this case is cute and compact, having no extendable cable and the connector in the middle like this makes it really only suitable for use with Android phones. I wouldn't be able to plug it into the rear of my PC where the USB-C port is at all due to the ethernet cable blocking it. I wouldn't be able to plug it into the side of my laptop where the USB-C is or it would block the charging port and my other USB ports.
  • Li Ken-un
    There is a form factor designed specifically for removable NVMe storage in a sturdy enclosure: CFExpress.

    There is also a passive adapter which turns an M.2 2230 into a CFExpress type B card. No detachable parts, no vulnerable connectors (USB-C male) sticking out, and just about the smallest size you can go down to to shrink-wrap your M.2 in metal.
  • Andrew Fox
    I am not sure if this is supposed to be a removable storage, it seems to be marketed as a regular external drive enclosure. The use of a male USB-C connector is just puzzling to me though, i'm not sure what devices they have in mind for it. Normally drive enclosures have a female connector and come with a USB-C cable to connect it between devices.