M.2 NVMe SSDs have been out for long enough now that they’re starting to be replaced. Smaller 512GB and 1TB SSDs are being replaced by 2TB and 4TB SSDs, and then your old SSDs often end up sitting in a drawer for the rest of their lives. What else can we do with them? Well, we can turn them into portable SSDs using some form of enclosure.
There are plenty of SSD enclosures on the market, but Sharge (back here) seems to be targeted squarely at location shooting and those who need to access data on the go. Sharge is launching on Kickstarter, where it’s currently available with pledges starting at only $39. There are optional extras to add M.2 SSD storage up to 2TB, but you can just roll your own with a bare enclosure.
Sharge offers transfer speeds of up to 1000MB/sec. Of course, this will depend on the speed of the M.2 2230 NVMe SSD residing inside it. That means you can get a few gigs of photos backed up in just a few seconds or a couple of hundred gigs of video footage in a few minutes.
Sharge Plugs straight into your camera
It offers compatibility with a wide range of devices, including computers running Windows or macOS, and tablets and smartphones running iPad OS, Android – and maybe iOS once they start getting USB-C sockets. It’s also compatible with cameras. Meaning that for cameras with the ability to record straight to SSD, you can stick this tiny SSD right into the camera’s USB-C socket like a thumb drive.
Built-tough for use on location
The enclosure is drop-proof, IP54 rated and features built-in active cooling to prevent your SSD from overheating. It claims a 2TB maximum capacity, but it’s unclear if that’s a limit of the drives the company is selling along with Sharge as extra items or a limit of the device itself. As storage technology is ever-increasing with constantly higher capacities, I can see 4TB and even 8TB 2230 M.2 drives potentially being a thing in the next couple of years.
Price and Availability
Sharge is running on Kickstarter with pledges available in two basic options. There’s the base unit, which is the enclosure with the built-in USB-C plug. The pledge price for that one is currently $39. The other includes the Sharge enclosure and the EDC (Electronic Data Capture) kit, which includes the silicone holder and USB cable lanyard which is currently at $52. Each is also available as a twin pack, available at $55 and $99, respectively. Western Digital 512GB, 1TB and 2TB M.2 2230 NVMe SSDs are available as an additional purchase after placing your pledge.