In today's digital world, the need for storage is consistently growing at a rapid pace. With the emergence of 4K content, capacity has never been more important, and while most of us may be able to get by with traditional hard drives, the performance can often be a burden. For those of us that enjoy the ability of taking our data with us on the go, external hard drives require additional power that may not always be present, and USB flash drives, well... they don't always have the needed capacity.
Over the past year, we have seen more and more external solid state solutions come through the lab here at TweakTown. While they typically carry rather impressive performance sometimes nearing 400 MB/s, capacity is still a concern. To that point, many external SSD solutions still top out at 512GB, while those that do dare to reach upwards of 1TB often utilize an internal RAID with multiple drives.
Just before CES 2015, Samsung announced the Portable SSD T1. This solution is available in a plethora of capacities including 250GB, 500GB and the model we have in the lab today, 1TB.
Features of the solution include Samsung's TurboWrite technology, along with supporting the UASP protocol, enabling this portable device to reach upwards of 450 MB/s read and write. Additionally, Samsung has implemented Dynamic Thermal Guard, which monitors the temperatures of the drive to prevent memory errors caused by sudden overheating. Compatibility of the Portable SSD T1 extends to Windows 7 and up, along with OS X 10.7+.
MSRP of the Samsung Portable SSD T1 in the 250GB capacity is listed at $179.99, while the 500GB and 1TB solutions come in at $299.99 and $599.99, respectively. Warranty for each of these is set at three years.
Packaging for the T1 is rather elegant. The front carries an image of the drive in the center with capacity listed to the top right.
Opening up the box, I was in no way ready for how small this drive actually is. The footprint of the drive comes in at 53x17x9, and yes, that is millimetres.
Scope of delivery includes a user manual, USB cable, and the drive itself.
The exterior of the T1 carries a smooth piano black finish on the right edge of the drive with almost a carbon appearance across the rest. A bold chromed Samsung logo dominates the top of the enclosure.
The edge of the drive houses the USB 3.0 connection with a small activity LED to the right.
After opening the box and seeing how small this solution really was, I wanted to see just how much it weighed. Marketing materials from Samsung depicted the drive-neared 30 grams, so I turned on my scale and set the T1 on it. As you can see above our measurement came in at 26.27 grams.
When we first plugged in the T1 SSD, we loaded up the included software found on the drive and gave our portable solution a name.
Within this initial setup is where you have the option of turning on the data encryption. While most encryption does affect performance, Samsung uses a hardware-based solution, so loss of performance shouldn't be an issue.
Starting of with our test regiment, we checked the properties section to see what type of formatting Samsung used from the factory. exFAT has seemingly become more popular for solutions over 64GB than traditional NTFS.
Our first round of testing put the drive through real data tests, moving batches of files to the drive. With our large MKV file, the SSD T1 was able to reach 268 MB/s, while large batches of photos topped 212 MB/s. When we switched over to moving a bunch of mixed data including photos, documents and movies, the drive was able to touch 198 MB/s.
Sequential testing was rather shocking to say the least. In our read testing, the drive was able to reach 417 MB/s, while write topped 428 MB/s.
There is certainly something to be said about being able to control the cost of components that go into a solution, as Samsung has done an excellent job of keeping the cost down and performance up with the T1. In fact, with the performance reaching over 400 MB/s and the price per GB of the 1TB model being just a hair over 58 cents per GB, the T1 gains top honors in our price/performance chart.
As I stated in the beginning of this review, we have seen plenty of external solutions come through in the past, some offering a great deal of performance, but capacity lacking, then we have had those that offered capacity, but had to use a multiple drive setup that didn't always offer the best in terms of performance. With the Samsung Portable SSD T1, we may have the first solution to offer the best of both world's.
The T1, while having one of the smallest footprints of any portable drive, has a truly intense amount of performance and features. Furthermore, being able to throw this solution in your pocket and go is almost a godsend for any creative professional.
Speaking of performance, in our testing, while we weren't able to reach top marketing numbers of 450 read and write, we were able to get very close. Sequential testing came in at 417 MB/s read and 428 MB/s write, while our Diskbench results came in well over 200 MB/s for each workload.
Build quality of the T1 was rather good, as I would expect nothing less from Samsung. In taking this solution apart, I found the plastics to fit very tight and the internal components to be nothing less of the best available on the market. The only negative thing I found with the Portable SSD T1 was the weight, as I could certainly see myself forgetting it was in my pocket.
PRICING: You can find the Samsung T1 Portable 1 TB USB 3.0 External SSD (MU-PS1T0B/AM) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||91%|
|Value for Money||94%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||92%|
The Bottom Line: Samsung's Portable SSD (PSSD) T1 is the complete package. A compact, lightweight external solution that offers top tier performance at a price that's certainly hard to ignore.
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