Plugable USB 3.1 Gen.2 NVMe SSD enclosure & Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD

We had the opportunity to test the Plugable USB 3.1 Gen.2 NVMe SSD enclosure with a Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD.

The Crucial P1 delivers sequential read/write speeds up to 2000MB/sec and 1700 MB/sec. As so often, however, the performance you’ll get out of this slender storage stick will depend on your computer’s I/O speed and the technology you use to interface with it. The figures mentioned are certainly possible with, for example, a Thunderbolt 3 connection or when connected through one of the recent PCIe interfaces.

On my machine and hooked up via a loan Thunderbolt 3 NVMe enclosure from my local Apple dealer, the maximum throughput of the Crucial P1 stranded at a respectable 1700MB/sec read and 993 MB/sec write speed. That’s really good when you compare it with other NVMe SSDs. However, the enclosure I used for the maximum throughput test was bulky and ugly designed.

The Plugable enclosure

The Plugable USB 3.1 Gen.2 NVMe SSD enclosure, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. It’s very small, made of black anodised aluminium, with the Plugable logo discretely on top and a USB-C type port on the side. The opposite side is home to a spring-loaded lock. Both top and bottom have cooling ribs. The whole thing is a centimetre or so longer than Apple’s Magic Mouse and about half as large. The Crucial P1 is an exact fit.

The Plugable enclosure is cleverly designed and not just on the outside. Inside you’ll find a rubber peg with a notch. The SSD’s edge fits in the notch so it sits tight. An added benefit of the Plugable NVMe enclosure is that you can switch NVMe SSDs very easily, although I can’t tell what the effect will be if you do that a number of times a week.

You slide the cover over the SSD and it’s closed when you hear the lock click into locked position. Plugable ships the enclosure with a few silicon bumpers with no further explanation, but I think these are meant to secure shorter NVMe SSDs. In addition, the box also contains a few extra pegs and the bottom plate inside has holes in different locations to accept them — also to fit shorter SSDs inside.

As far as performance is concerned, the throughput speed was not as high as with Thunderbolt 3 technology, but it was still considerable at 600MB/sec write and 850MB/sec read speed. The unit does get warm when copying a lot of files to it so I think you shouldn’t use it to copy gigantic numbers of files in one move.

The Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD retails at €119. The Plugable USB 3.1 Gen.2 NVMe SSD enclosure costs $69.99.