Samsung Portable SSD T3
£606 inc VAT (32p per GB) • samsung.com/uk
It’s not uncommon to do a double take when you read the available capacities for Samsung’s T3 range. Topping out at 2TB – a size you’d normally associate with mechanical hard drives – this diminutive SSD shows the promise of what’s to come from the technology.
Obviously the downside is price. A 2TB portable SSD might sound tempting, but any enthusiasm you have will be quickly dampened when you realise it costs over £600. It’s only 32p per GB, but it’s easy to forget that a 2TB hard drive costs 10 times less than this: even a portable version can be found for less than £55.
SSDs have plenty of advantages in terms of their robustness and speed, but whether that will persuade you to pay this much is debatable. There are cheaper options in the range, starting with the 250GB version, which costs around £95 (37p per GB), and moving up to the 500GB, which is around £150 (30p per GB).
Features and design
The T3 is a stylish, well-made device. It looks purposeful in silver and grey, with the latter being a soft-touch rubbery finish and the former being a seamless band of aluminium. On one end is a single USB-C port, which supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (half the theoretical speed of Gen 2’s 10Gb/s). In the box is a USB-C to standard USB, so you’ll need to buy your own cable if you want to connect the drive to a device (such as an Android phone) with USB-C or Micro-USB.
The T3 has 256-bit AES hardware encryption, which can be used through Samsung’s Security Enabler. Just beware that if you forget the password you set, there’s no way to access the data on the drive. It’s possible to obtain a factory reset tool via Samsung’s service centre, but this will wipe all your data. Oddly, Samsung doesn’t provide any backup software, so you’ll either have to copy files to it manually or source your own software.
We tested the range-topping 2TB version, which arrives formatted with NTFS, and were impressed with its performance. It managed a sequential read speed of 407MB/s and a write speed of 211MB/s.
The Samsung T3 didn’t disappoint when reading 4KB files either, doing so in CrystalDiskMark at almost 22MB/s, but faltered when writing them, achieving only 2.3MB/s. However, you probably won’t notice this limitation if you’re planning to use the drive as a vault for all your media.
If you’re after a large capacity portable drive for backing up your photos, videos, music and other precious data, then the Samsung T3 is a great choice. However, a traditional hard drive is still a lot cheaper if speed isn’t your main priority.