Confession time: I haven’t used a portable SSD till date and I rue that. Samsung sent across a review unit of their new T7 SSD and boy is it fast or what! I have a 4-year old Western Digital portable HDD and the T7 Touch literally sucker punches it to oblivion in almost every parameter that I can think of. Obviously, the only downside is the higher price point of SSDs compared to HDDs. Is that price bump worth it? Let’s get down to my review and find out.
Samsung T7 – Design
Before, I talk about the design, inside the box, you get the T7 SSD along with a couple of cables. You get a Type-C to Type-C one and a Type-C to Type-A alternate. This is a thoughtful addition bundling in both types of cables.
So, the T7 is a tiny little monster. Made entirely of metal, it is extremely sturdy. It is shock resistant and can withstand falls from a height of 2 meters. Also, in general — for those who don’t know — SSDs Solid State Drives don’t have moving parts like regular HDDs and are, therefore, more durable. Anyway, the T7 has a very understated elegance in this Titan Grey colour and will stand-out as a professional companion for the corporate types. If you want something funkier, the Indigo Blue and the Metallic Red variants should serve your purpose.
Now, the T7 is the slimmest and lightest in Samsung’s T-lineup of SSDs. It weighs a paltry 58g and is only 8mm thick. So yeah, I don’t know what else could you ask for in an SSD design. This kind of understated elegance has always been Samsung’s forte.
By the way, you get an LED
Samsung T7 – Performance
The Type-C port is of the USB 3.2 (Gen 2) standard — a bump up from the T5’s USB 3.1 (Gen 2). But, it is important to know that your laptop or desktop PC needs to have a Type-C port with current gen USB support as well. The SSD uses an embedded PCIe NVME storage. It uses some part of the storage as an SLC cache. To be entirely honest, I didn’t know much about the type of caching process for SSDs. Here’s an excellent primer for you guys (https://www.howtogeek.com/444787/multi-layer-ssds-what-are-slc-mlc-tlc-qlc-and-mlc/). It is slightly complicated but what you need to know is this is how Samsung promises 1000Mb/s read/write speeds, which is almost twice as fast as last generations T5.
Now, I did test the T7 using Blackmagic and I got a read speed of over 800MB/s and a write speed of around 880MB/s, which is still pretty awesome. These are impressive numbers no doubt. And, in a real-life test, I transferred a 56GB folder with close to 500 fragmented files and it got done in under 2 mins. I am truly stunned. Also, I didn’t notice any heating issues as such.
So yeah, transfer speeds are definitely not an issue for the T7 but, what about data encryption and security? Well, you get AES 256 bit hardware encryption with password protection. So, everytime you want to use your SSD, you’ll have to log in using your password on the Mac app. However, the Android app just refused to work. And therefore, when I had password-protected the app, I couldn’t even access the files. By the way, the T7 didn’t work with my iPhone using Apple’s bundled lightning-to-type-C cable and there’s no app for iOS either.
Samsung T7 – Conclusion
So, the T7 slots itself nicely between the T5 and the T7 Touch. Not just in pricing, but also in performance. You get twice the speeds of the T5 but you don’t get the fingerprint scanner that is available on the T7 Touch. Here’s a handy pricing chart showing the price difference between the three SSDs.
Pro tip: the price keeps dropping on and off. I’ve routinely seen the price of the 500GB T5 go down to Rs 6,999 and on rare occasions even lower! Hence, you might want to use a price tracker extension for your browser.
For what it is worth, do yourself a favour and get a portable SSD instead of an HDD. The performance bump and the longevity of an SSD, because there are no moving parts inside, is totally worth that extra money. And, the T7 could easily be on the top of your list, if you are not particularly fancying that fingerprint scanner on the T7 Touch.