Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD review: Gotta go fast
There are faster and lighter SSDs out there but Samsung’s T5 has been our go-to for the last few years now for good reason. It’s simple, it’s not that expensive for portable SSD storage and as far as form-factors go, it’s hard to beat.
Nevertheless, Samsung’s latest effort in the portable storage space - the T7 Touch - attempts to do just that. It doesn’t get quite all the way there but if the T5’s already fast data transfer capabilities don’t cut it for you, it might be worth the upgrade.
Storage: 500GB / 1TB
Dimensions: 85 x 57 x 8.0mm
Ports: 1x USB Type-C Gen 3.2 Gen 2
Color: Black / Silver
Price: $279 / $439
Design & Performance
In terms of design, Samsung haven’t tinkered with the formula too much. As opposed to Samsung’s X5 SSD, the T7 veers much closer to the template laid out by the T5.
Like our portable storage MVP, the Samsung T7 Touch has a metallic credit-card like form-factor to it. The neatly rounded edges give it a sleek feel that subtly lures your attention towards the singular USB Type-C port on the end. At the end of the day, the mechanics of plugging the T7 Touch into your computer aren’t that different to any other SSD but there’s a sense of professionalism and style nevertheless. It feels more advanced that it is.
Though slightly larger than the Samsung T5, the more noticeable difference here is that the T7 Touch has a fingerprint sensor on the front-facing side. In addition to traditional password security and integrated 256-bit AES encryption, the T7 Touch now also offers you the ability to lockdown the data on the SSD using biometrics. This is done using the bundled software and takes about two minutes to enable and implement.
This fingerprint sensor is ringed by an LED light that also serves to deliver some at-a-glance info. When you plug it in, it’ll light up to let you know the connection is confirmed. When you’re transferring files to or from the T7 Touch, it’ll circle itself to reflect the progress of that process. It’s nothing complicated but it’s a neat little deviation from the blueprint laid out by the T5.
In action, the T7 Touch delivered incredible fast SSD speeds when paired up with the appropriate cabling and ports. This next bit should go without saying but If you’re not using the right cabling, you simply won’t get the snappy speeds that Samsung’s latest storage piece is capable of delivering.
Transferring a 38GB game directory folder from the SSD onto my local directory took just 60 seconds with the T7 SSD delivering a fairly consistent and sustained 735mbps speed. Reversing the process was a little slower, with the T7’s transfer speeds bouncing all over the place before setting around to 595mbps and eventually dropping down the 300mbps for the latter half of the process.
In Australia, pricing for the Samsung T7 Touch SSD starts at AU$279 for 500GB. This puts it a slight premium on what you'd be paying through other brands like Seagate or Western Digital. Stuff like the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD might not offer the same speed or portability as Samsung's T7 but if dollars--per-gigabytes is all you care about, you're probably going to find a better return elsewhere.
The Bottom Line
As was the case with the X5, The Samsung T7 Touch’s biggest competition is its own predecessor. Sure, it’s faster and the fingerprint sensor provides a new avenue of security but, at the end of the day, the T5 was plenty fast and (probably) secure enough for most everyday users.
Unless you’re the kind of person who needs that extra oomph or peace of mind, you’re probably going to be better served saving the money and nabbing yourself a large capacity T5. At least, until the runout that is. At this stage, the T5 is almost four years old. Eventually, it’s going to be phased out of the market.
Once that happens, the T7 Touch will likely thrive. Right now, it’s just another premium-priced portable SSD that delivers more than most needs. That's not a bad thing but it is what it is.
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