Roll your own high-speed portable storage solution with this SSD enclosure

(Image credit: Asus)

Having trouble finding an external storage solution that is fast and stylish enough for your liking? Asus may have what you're looking for, assuming you're interested in going the DIY approach and want something that looks aggressive. If so, the company's ROG Strix Arion fits the bill.

The Strix Arion is an external enclosure that is compatible with a range of M.2 form factor NVMe SSDs—those are the ones shaped like a stick of gum. It supports full-size M.2-2280 SSDs, and also smaller drives, including the M.2-2260, 2242, and 2230 form factors.

This enclosure leverages the PCIe 3.0 interface. You should be able to install a PCIe 4.0 drive inside the Arion Strix, as well, it just would not make much sense to do that—you'd be paying a premium for a bleeding-edge drive, but have no way of tapping into all that speed.

That said, this is a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 enclosure that is rated to transfer data at up to 10Gbps, which is equivalent to 1250MB/s (PCIe 4.0 SSDs boast sequential read speeds of up to 5000MB/s). It is made from aluminum and has thermal pads inside for "aggressive heat dissipation."

Installation is supposed to be easy. No screwdriver is required—just use the included the pin tool to pop the enclosure open (similar to popping open a SIM port on a phone), install your M.2 SSD, and tighten the thumbscrew.

(Image credit: Asus)

RGB lighting is part of the package. It also comes with a detachable R-hook to attach the drive to a laptop bag, belt buckle, or whatever else, and both USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables.

The Strix Arion will launch in the UK this month for £44.99. Asus did not say when it will be available in other territories.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).