Many of our readers know how much we at PL love Samsung’s tiny SSD external drives. We have written a review of the Samsung T1 SSD device and praised it for its incredible performance, tiny form factor and its ability to add plenty of fast storage to laptops and devices like Apple’s iMac (see our recommendations on choosing an iMac). Today, Samsung announced a new line of portable SSD drives that provide up to 2 TB of storage. The new Samsung Portable SSD T3 drives will measure only 74x58x10.5mm and weigh just 51 grams, which makes them extremely portable – a perfect travel companion. With up to 450 MB/sec read and write speeds via USB 3.1 Type C interface, these cards will deliver exceptional performance, even for the most demanding applications.
I am currently in Death Valley NP and although the built-in drive on the Surface Book that I’m using is pretty fast, it is only 256 GB in size, which limits how much I can store and access on it. With my portable Samsung SSD drive, I have access to incredibly fast 1 TB of SSD storage, where I not only store RAW images, but also host my Lightroom catalog. The setup works really well and I don’t see any performance issues like I would if I were to store everything on slow external hard drives. So these drives are definitely not just for storing backups of your folders, you can easily use them as primary drives.
That’s what makes the Samsung SSD portable drives so versatile – they are perfect candidates for expanding local storage, whether you use a desktop machine or a portable laptop. As long as you have a USB 3.0+ slot, you will be able to take advantage of these drives (and if you don’t, it is about time to upgrade your computer).
If you are wondering about performance differences between the T1 and T3 drives, there is not much difference – both feature similar Samsung 850 EVO NAND flash drives. What has changed is the build. The new Samsung T3 drives have a much sturdier, shock-resistant external shell that can withstand up to 1500G of force. You can drop it from up to 2 meters without damaging the unit or its data. In addition, the drive is protected from overheating in extreme temperatures with its “Thermal Guard” feature, so it is supposed to be a lot more durable. This sturdier construction obviously comes with a weight increase disadvantage – the new drive is approximately twice heavier than its predecessor.
The Samsung SSD T3 will be released in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB configurations. Pricing has not yet been announced, but I would estimate it to be similar to that of the T1 at its launch. The good news of this release, is that Samsung will try to clear out the existing stock of the T1 SSD units, which will push their prices down. Currently, the Samsung T1 1 TB drive is discounted by $50 to $380, which is a great price for such a versatile device! The 2 TB option sounds great, but I expect that one to retail at $800+ for a while…