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Samsung Portable SSD T3 2TB Review

Samsung Portable SSD T3 2TB Review

Samsung adds to its SSD dominance with the Portable SSD T3 external storage solution. In this review, we take a close look at the 2TB model.

By: Tyler Bernath from Feb 22, 2016 @ 9:00 CST
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Samsung

Just over a year ago, Samsung released their Portable SSD T1, a drive we reviewed at launch. Now Samsung is back at it again pushing technology even further and raising the bar on high capacity external storage.

With the launch of the Portable SSD T3, Samsung is raising the bar on small form factor external storage by producing this drive in capacities ranging from 250GB all the way up to an astonishing 2TB. Performance expectation too has been kept to a high standard using a Gen 1 USB 3.1 interface and Type-C connector. Samsung goes on to say this drive is capable of 450 MB/s reads. It is also capable of AES 256-bit hardware encryption.

Compatibility of the Portable SSD T3 extends to Windows 7 and higher along with OS X 10.7+, and Android 4.4+. MSRP of the Portable SSD T3 in the 2TB capacity is set at $849.99 with a three-year warranty.


The packaging for the T3 includes a windowed look at the drive itself. Down below Samsung has listed all three OSes supported with capacity listed at the top right.


On the back side, we find marketing information including performance, dimensions, and build materials.


The scope of delivery is quite simple with a Type-C to Type-A cable, reading materials, and the drive.


At the end of the drive, we have the Type-C USB 3.1 port.


Flipping the drive over, a few extra touches with capacity and model printed on the enclosure.


At the heart of the Portable SSD T3, we have two principal components. The first is the small PCB seen to the right with an ASMedia 1153e USB 3.0 to SATA bridge and the second is quite a feat - a 2TB mSATA SSD.


Above, we have the 2TB mSATA SSD used in the Portable SSD T3, which is quite similar to the 850 EVO.


The Portable SSD T3 is factory formatted with the exFAT file system, ensuring compatibility between Windows and Macintosh computers. The usable capacity after formatting is 1.81TB.


Above, we have our first test results from the T3. As you can see, it was able to reach 29,837 read IOPS and 33,914 write IOPS.


Throwing the T3 into the ring it came in showing 417 MB/s read and 380 MB/s write, a touch slower in write performance when compared with the T1.


Moving over to price/performance, the Portable SDD T3 was able to take the top spot from the T1, thanks to its 41 cents per GB pricing and solid performance.

It has been quite a few months since we last had a portable SSD on the test bench. With that said the T3 is quite a drive and looking back to the T1 nearly a year ago, I was astonished to see Samsung fit 1TB of capacity in that small of an enclosure, and then they turn around one year later with 2TB in a form factor just a hair bigger.

The build quality of the T3 is quite good. This time, Samsung chose to use a half metal / half plastic enclosure, which adds to both the aesthetics and the durability. As mentioned in the opening, this year's solution is powered by a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, and while this isn't the Gen 2 solution we have been waiting for, it does offer flexibility.

The performance of the T3 was quite good, especially for the read portion of our testing. Here I was able to top 400 MB/s at 418 MB/s while write performance was rather decent as well reaching 380 MB/s. Random read performance was equally good with 30K read IOPs and a touch over 30K IOPS write. Price/performance was also quite kind to the T3 as its excellent price per GB lifted it to the top of our chart.

In closing, the Samsung Portable T3 is a capable drive whether you need a small form factor solution, solid performance, tremendous capacity, or all three rolled into one package.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features90%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money90%
Overall TweakTown Rating90%

The Bottom Line: Samsung's Portable SSD T3 has quite a bit going for it including size, performance, and with capacity options reaching 2TB, this drive is both a milestone for the storage industry and a consumer friendly option for those needing a high-capacity solution.

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