I needed to get more data storage on my laptop but how do you clone an M.2 SSD disk when your laptop has only one connector? I wasn't aware that M.2 external enclosures existed but they do and the process is as simple as any other hard drive external enclosure.
First thing first, M.2 disks are available in multiple physical sizes, with different connectors and different logical interfaces so you need to figure out the right one to buy. Note: this is not a definite guide, just my own experience.
SATA or PCI-E
M.2 drives can connect through either a SATA controller or PCI-E bus. From what I read, you can connect PCI-E M.2 drives to a laptop with a SATA interface. My laptop has a SATA interface but I didn't want to take any chances so I looked for SATA drives.
The drive's connector can be of type B, M or B & M. Mine is B & M.
Yep, size matter so it's important to confirm which one will fit.
I ended up buying an ADATA SU800 1TB drive on Amazon.
Now for the external enclosure, I bought the Vantec NexStar SX M.2 SSD to USB 3.0 Enclosure (NST-M2STS3-BK). There are cheaper options but this one had good reviews.
After that, it was a simple matter of inserting the new drive into the enclosure, connect it to a USB 3 port, launch Acronis, clone the disk, open the laptop and replace the drive. Cloning 200GB went super fast and took only a few minutes. A very smooth process.