Nothing says “futuristic” like having your tech accessories cycle through RGB colors.
The ASUS ROG STRIX ARION is one of the most interesting external M2 SSD enclosures I have ever seen.
What’s the Point of it?
I needed an external SSD enclosure and I had a choice between this awesome, futuristic RGB looking one for $59.99 or I could have gotten a generic cheap one for about $20 – $30.
We got both for the purpose of this review.
- It feels solid and rugged
- RGB lighting
- Easy to open / mount SSD
- Comes with rubber case
- A bit heavy compared to others
- More expensive than most external enclosures
- Comes with a very short cable
Everything is RGB
From the keyboard, mouse, to our headphone stand, everything on our equipment has RGB lighting now.
It is a cool and soothing aesthetic and helps make the office feel like the office of the future. (Or a gaming den.)
Worth the Price?
Considering the unique design, build quality, and RGB lighting, I feel that the price is justified.
It feels extremely solid and durable and does not feel cheap at all.
If you’re paying for an M2 SSD, then you definitely want to spend the extra money and keep it in a well built enclosure.
Compared to Cheap Enclosures
First off, installation is a pain for this cheap $29 enclosure we got off Amazon.
The ROG uses a pin hole (like a SIM card) and the door swings open for you to mount your SSD.
On cheaper enclosures like this one, it required two tiny screws to be taken out and the entire board slides out. Of course, mounting the SSD is something most users will ever do once and forget about it, but it is a factor in the overall experience.
Next is the looks; the cheaper enclosure is much smaller, lighter, and feels weaker overall. I actually felt that $30 is too much for this Rongdeson SSD enclosure and that it feels like it is worth more around $12 to be frank.
With the ROG, the $60 I paid for it felt justified. I feel like I can toss this around in my bag and not have to worry about it.
Benefits to RGB?
In my daily use, I normally used to carry around an SD card for all my portable files and work related files.
Using an SD card was very portable, fit in my wallet, and was very fast and reliable.
There were a few problems with this though:
- Large / Fast / Reliable SD cards are expensive
- Not every computer has an SD card reader
- If I am transferring files from a camera to my computer, I have to unplug the SD card
- It is very easy to forget or lose (I forgot it several times)
With the ROG ARION, the RGB lights stay on even when the computer is turned off, minimizing the chance that I will ever forget to unplug it.
When installing, it looked like it had some thermal pads inside (the other enclosure didn’t have this), and I accidentally touched it with my finger.
The website advertises “aggressive heat distribution” so I suppose this is part of it.
If you’re complaining about spending an extra $30 for this, then you’re probably missing point. And how can you afford a decent M.2 NVMe SSD if you can’t afford to pay an extra $30 on a good enclosure?
It comes with a hook and a place to mount or hang this from a lanyard, but to be honest, I would never keep this outside my bag.
Overall, I am very happy with this.
I have been using it daily for the past few weeks and I not experienced any issues / disconnects or weird glitches yet.
Have been using it with an Intel Series 7 SSD (512GB), and it has been working well for all my video editing files, photos, and graphic designs (which is what I use this for on a daily basis).
$132 (SSD) + $59.99 (Enclosure) = ~$200 (with tax and shipping)
Why not get a dedicated External SSD?
For about $80, you could get the SanDisk 510 480GB external SSD.
I actually used to own one of these and had used it daily for about 6 – 8 months before I started experiencing issues with it and had to migrate all my data over ASAP before I may have lost some precious files.
I still do use an external SanDisk SSD, however it is an internal SATA SSD with an external enclosure.
In my experience, it is always preferable to use an enclosure with an internal SSD, than to get one of these pre-built, dedicated external SSDs. I just never seem to have any luck with these over long term, daily use.
So far in my experience, using an internal SSD as external SSD been the better option, though the cost is increased.
For more info, check out the official site here.
Note: This article was not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the aforementioned products / companies. This review was done from our own free will for informational and opinion purposes. Nothing here is claimed as a fact. This article / review is 100% my personal opinion. There may be affiliate links on this website and throughout this article.