Honestly, I know that the title of this review looks like a bunch of gibberish. Seriously, who would have named their products a bunch of codenames like this? That’s the world of PC components – and the Transcend TS-CM80S and TS-CM42S is a bridge between PC components and external storage devices that can be categorized as accessories. So what is the Transcend TS-CM80S and TS-CM42S, really?

Check out our full video review down here!

Firstly, let’s start off with an introduction. The Transcend TS-CM80S and TS-CM42S are both converters. They convert an M.2 SATA III SSD to become a USB storage device. Some of you may call it an “upgrade kit”. These converters are useful for those who want to upgrade their laptops to have a higher capacity M.2 SSD. You can swap out the internal M.2 SSD to your new, larger capacity one while re-purposing the old one as a USB drive. This was missing in the Transcend JetDrive 820 that we reviewed here, but they fixed it with the JetDrive 825.

Both the Transcend TS-CM80S and TS-CM42S are actually the same thing – just different in size. Particularly, its length. The TS-CM80S supports all M.2 SSDs up to 80mm in length, whereas the TS-CM42S supports only 42mm long M.2 SSDs. From my experience, I’ve mostly seen M.2 2280 SSDs only – which are 80mm in length.

The Transcend TS-CM80S and TS-CM42S only support SATA III M.2 SSDs, though you can actually plug in an NVMe PCIe SSD into the connector.

Transcend TS-CM80S

Though, both the Transcend TS-CM80S and TS-CM42S supports UASP, or USB Attached SCSI Protocol – which is a fancy way of saying that it supports full duplex over USB, utilizing and sharing the USB 3.1 Gen 1 bandwidth. Full duplex here means that it can send files to and from simultaneously. Transcend has a beautiful illustration of UASP.

UASP

With that said, the full duplex here is actually beneficial for those who want to use an external storage device as a scratch disk for video editing. For example, ultrabooks these days have powerful CPU and GPU, but their storage is pretty crappy as it’s expensive. Opting for a 512GB variant? Be prepared to bleed money. Hence, taking out your existing SATA III M.2 SSD and slotting it into Transcend TS-CM80S or TS-CM42S is really beneficial.

Transcend TS-CM80S

Installation is simple, and I highly recommend you to watch our video review to get an idea of how easy it is. To those who are upgrading their laptops with a SATA III M.2 SSD to get a Transcend TS-CM80S or TS-CM42S to house their old SSD. An unused SSD is a wasted SSD. Might as well make use of it, no?

As for the speed, it truly depends on the SSD that you’re using. We have the MTS800 M.2 SATA III SSD with us, and we just slotted it into the¬†Transcend TS-CM80S. The performance does suffer a little when compared to its pure performance when connected to the motherboard directly.

We filled it up to about 90% full before running the test.

From NVMe PCIE SSD to TS-CM80S
From NVMe PCIE SSD to TS-CM80S
From TS-CM80S to NVMe PCIE SSD
From TS-CM80S to NVMe PCIE SSD

To show the UASP in action, we copied the large 11GB file to and fro together. The speed did dip a little, but still manage to pull through.

Copying to and fro the TS-CM80S and PCIE NVMe SSD
Copying to and fro the TS-CM80S and PCIE NVMe SSD

The price of the Transcend TS-CM80S is priced at RM118 over at Lazada, but we couldn’t find the TS-CM42S. No worries, as the TS-CM80S does support any SATA III M.2 SSD up to 80mm in length – just that it’ll have 38mm of unused space if a 42mm long SSD is installed.

  • Pros
    • Reasonably priced
    • Supports UASP
    • Easy installation
    • Lightweight
    • Uses USB-C
  • Cons
    • Doesn’t support NVMe SSDs