The Tuff lineup from CalDigit initially started as a 2.5" form factor portable hard drive. This eventually evolved into several solid state models being introduced. And more recently, the launch of the Tuff Nano, a small form factor portable SSD.
The Tuff Nano was originally introduced in November in a single 512GB capacity, and now roughly four months later, we have the addition of a 1TB model.
The Tuff Nano is built with performance in mind with NVMe as its backbone carried though with USB 3.2 Gen 2. Connectivity is offered through the USB-C port with backward compatibility maintained via C to A cables.
Marketing for the Tuff Nano lists performance at 1055 MB/s along with features including IP67 certification and four colorways that include Olive Green, Tomato Red, Royal Blue, and Charcoal Black.
The MSRP of the 1TB CalDigit Tuff Nano comes in at $249.99 with a two-year warranty.
The packaging is quite colorful for the Nano. We see an image of the drive in the center, capacity top left, and features listed along the bottom.
The back goes into more detail with dimensions of the drive along with box contents.
Unboxing, the Tuff Nano is shipped in a protective case.
The scope of delivery includes the drive and USB-C and C to A cables.
The drive itself offers a silicon sleeve around an aluminum chassis.
The back has the capacity listed at the top and regulatory markings at the bottom.
CDM is a staple in performance testing; version 7 has seen some updates in the workloads used for testing. Sequential performance tops out at 1035 MB/s read and 976 MB/s write for the Nano.
ATTO is yet another popular benchmark for storage performance that breaks down performance based on file size. Here we see a peak of 994 MB/s read and 927 MB/s write starting at 512K.
New to our testing is a 200GB data transfer that aims to weed out drives that lose performance during backup scenarios. The Tuff Nano did quite well in this test, moving the 200GB just short of 10 minutes.
Price/Performance of the 1TB Tuff Nano comes in at 77% just above the Samsung T7.
With the testing of both Tuff Nano models under our belt, the 1TB comes away as the quicker solution of the two available. Build quality between the units appear to be identical with no change to the enclosure or silicon sleeve. The included cables seem to be a more flexible, high-quality solution, vs. typical plastic sleeved cables that come with more cost-conscious portable drives.
Actual numbers in the lab reached over 1000 MB/s in our testing, one of only a few 10Gbps USB-C drives to do so. CDM topped out at 1035MB/s read while ATTO showed a peak of 994 MB/s. The 200GB file transfer took almost 10 minutes at a rate of 377 MB/s.
Pricing has never been friendly for CalDigit solutions as they tend to occupy the premium end of the market. At $249.99, the 1TB Tuff Nano does have good company from the likes of the WD P50 SSD and Samsung T7.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
Consumers that want a high performance portable solution that offers increased reliability with a top-end NVMe solution at its heart should take a close look at the Tuff Nano 1TB.