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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Samsung T7 Portable SSD Review: Fast and Beautiful

External SSD storage that is lightning fast and has a beautiful design.

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Samsung T7 SSD is the latest model of the company’s flagship portable SSD line and is the upgraded version of the popular T5 model. It is priced at $110 for 500GB or $200 and $350 for 1TB and 2TB respectively while the touch version is $10 to $30 more expensive depending on the capacities.

  • Performance: 8/10
  • Features: 8.5/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10

Features and Design

The Samsung T7 and Samsung T7 Touch are among the fastest portable SSDs in the market but is fairly expensive for the price per GB. The Touch version adds an excellent feature set with its integrated fingerprint sensor. The T7 lives up to the standards set by its predecessor. It includes an 18 inch long USB-C and USB-A cable. The USB-A cable is especially helpful for those using legacy device. It made it easy for us to switch between our new MacBook Pros and our older USB-A equipped computers without the need of additional dongles. The long premium cables makes for versatile positioning whether you use the device on your desktop, laptop or tablet PC.

Samsung T7 cables

We also love how the Samsung T7 blends well with our Mac computers as both are made out of solid unibody aluminum design which makes it lightweight and durable. It is a futuristic looking device and is just the size of a credit card. It comes in three different anodized colors: Indigo Blue, Titan Gray, and Metallic Red. Samsung states that it can withstand drops of up to two meters (6.6 feet).

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Samsung T7 comes with the included Portable SSD application that can lock the drive using password protection. While the Touch version comes integrated with a fingerprint reader to effortlessly unlock the drive’s AES 256-bit encryption. The setup was a breeze and was the same as setting up TouchID on the iPhone. However, as of this review, the software does not work with Apple Silicon Macs and we are still waiting for an update.

You can also use this drive with certain Android devices. However, some require FAT32 file systems which requires the drive to be formatted. Reformatting the drive will remove any data stored on the device including Samsung’s own software installers. FAT32 file system reduces functionality of the drive with maximum file sizes of 4GB. The drive works well with the iPad Pro as well.

Samsung uses an encapsulated Phase Change Material (ePCM) pad to control the heat. This advance thermal management technology helps drive temperature to remain at optimal operating temperatures under all conditions. However, we tested this drive for a few months now using Lightroom by importing thousands of photos and videos and the drive became quite hot to hold. But it should not be a surprise given the drive’s small form factor.

Speed and Performance

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SSDs have come a long way since it was introduced few years ago. Just how fast any drive transfers relies entirely on what kind of computer you’re plugging it into. Samsung T7 uses a DRAMless design updating the FTL tables directly on the NAND, resulting in slower performance over DRAM-based designs. It however features TurboWrite SLC cache acceleration that is used to absorb inbound write requests. However, once the TurboWrite cache fills, write speeds can degrade quite a bit. Samsung quotes read speeds of up to 1.05GB/s and write speeds of about 1GB/s.

We tested the 1TB version and got an impressive read-write speeds of about 750MB/s over USB 3.2 Gen 2 on our disk stress test on Apple Silicon M1 MacBook Pro. That’s a huge improvement from the 450MB/s write speed and 499MB/s read speed we have on the Samsung T5 models. While it isn’t the fastest portable SSD in the market, due to DRAMless design, it’s performance is more than acceptable for most sustaining speeds of nearly 1GBps each way.

The T7’s performance has overall been very good and reliable. We rarely experienced loss of data even when transferring huge files. It performed well even with sustained file transfers but we noticed that it throttles down performance to prevent overheating.

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What’s puzzling is that while it’s a flagship offering, Samsung only offers 3 years of warranty compared to the standard 5 year warranty that other manufacturer offers.

Conclusion

Samsung T7 is ideal for digital professionals who take large number of pictures or for video creators who edit lots of 4K video contents. It can be suitable for gamers who need some extra space to store their games.

It is an excellent premium storage device for just the size of a credit card and it has capacities of up to 2TB. Its small size means you can carry it around comfortably and fits just anywhere. It comes bundled with AES 256 bit password protection and fingerprint security on the Touch version. We recommend getting the Touch version for those handling sensitive data.

The Samsung T7’s reliable speed and beautiful design makes it one of the very best portable SSD in the market today. Small and fast, it is a drive you won’t regret buying.

Samsung T7 SSD Review

Technical Specification

InterfaceUSB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
CompatibilityWindows 7 or higher, Mac OS X 10.10 or higher, Android Lollipop or higher
NAND3-bit MLC V-NAND
SecurityPassword protection.
Fingerprint Recognition. (Touch version only)
Capacities500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Dimensions85 x 57 x 8 mm (3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3 inches)
Weight58 grams (2.0 oz)
Operating Temperature0-60C
Humidity65C, 95%
Shock1.500G, duration: 0.5ms, 3 axis
Vibration10-2,000Hz, 20G
WarrantyThree (3) Year Limited Warranty

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Samsung T7 SSD Review

SUMMARY

External SSD storage that is lightning fast and has a beautiful design.

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