Depending on how new or old your laptop is you can install a 2.5 inch SSD (Solid State Drive). Newer laptops will give you the option to install an M.2 SATA or M.2 NVME drive and usually their dimensions are 22mm x 42mm, 22mm x 60mm, 22mm x 80mm. These dimensions are usually read as 2240, 2260, and 2280.
Solid State Drive
The form factor (physical size) of a solid-state drive is 2.5 inches. At 2.5 inches an SSD will easily fit into just about any laptop and desktop computer. The storage size for SSDs ranges from 250 GB to 4 TB. Depending on the brand of the SSD you can purchase one for $39.99 to $500.00. Solid States drives allow you to start up your laptop or desktop computer within 5 seconds. At the same time turning off your computer and restarting your computer is also very quick with a solid-state drive. And last but not least another benefit of a solid-state drive is fast file transfer especially when you are transferring files from or to a USB 3.0 device.
The picture listed below is of a Samsung Solid State Drive.
M.2 AHCI SATA and M.2 NVME PCIe
M.2 drives come in many form factors(physical size). The easiest way to tell what form factor an M.2 drive comes in is by reading the name of the M.2 drive. For example, a 2280 M.2 drive is 22mm wide and 80mm long. If you can’t find the form factor in the name of an M.2 drive then reading the specifications should provide you with the form factor.
To recap the form factors they an M.2 drive comes in are 224, 2260, and 2280.
Differences between M.2 SATA and M.2 NVME
The M.2 ACHI SATA is usually referred to as M.2 SATA. The M.2 SATA is very similar in appearance to the M.2 NVME. Both M.2 SATA and M.2 NVME have keys on the connection end and this where you can tell both of them apart. The M.2 SATA has an M&B key while the M.2 NVME has an M-only key.
The next difference between M.2 SATA and M.2 NVME is the speed at which they operate. M.2 NVME is much faster than M.2 SATA and at the same time, M.2 NVME costs more than M.2 SATA.
Below I have provided images of an M.2 SATA and M.2 NVME
How to know what type of hard drive your laptop uses
If you don’t know what type of hard drive your laptop uses then don’t worry because figuring out what hard drive your laptop uses is easier than it seems.
Every laptop has a model number model written on a label. This label can be found on the underside your of laptop. The model number will be a bit confusing to read since it’s usually just a bunch of numbers and letters put together. For example Model Name: AN515-43 Series. This model number belongs to a gaming laptop called Acer Nitro 5.
Below I have provided an image of the underside of a laptop with a model number provided.