Samsung Portable SSD T1 (250GB)
The Samsung portable SSD T1 flash drive was announced at CES in January of this year. Described as durable, stylish, and fast, the T1 portable storage device promises a lot and has a premium price to match. I spent a couple of months with it and think it’s one of those really cool devices everyone will want, but might not be able to justify given the high cost.
- Fast performance
- Portable and lightweight
- Sexy design
- Works with Windows and OS X
DESIGN & FEATURES
The T1 is smaller than a typical 2.5-inch SSD drive. 2.5-inch drives are often used inside desktop computers and laptops. More and more laptops, including Ultrabooks, use smaller SSDs with the mSATA interface. Samsung uses their own mSATA SSDs to create the tiny T1 in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB.
The T1 is less than three inches long on its longest side and only 0.35 inches thick. It also weighs a barely-noticeable 30 grams (1 ounce). The largest part of the T1 is actually the detachable 5-inch USB cable that comes with it. Unlike USB thumb drives, the T1 doesn’t have a USB cable or plug built in––a minor inconvenience.
A small section of the T1’s enclosure has a black glossy finish and the rest has a matte, diamond-patterned, groove design; it’s striking to look at in my opinion. The USB 3.0 port is on one of the short sides, along with a small LED activity light.
The T1’s compact size could make it easy to misplace if you’re not careful. Fortunately, the T1 is protected by AES 256-bit data encryption and an optional password, so you can rest easy knowing that if you do lose the T1, no one will be able to see your files.
The SSD T1 comes pre-formatted in exFAT, which allows it to be used in both Windows and Mac computers. If you only use Windows machines or just Apple machines, you can reformat it to NTFS or HFS.
The transfer rate of the 250GB T1 was faster than any portable flash drive I’d ever tested. At 388 MB/s read and 340 MB/s write in CrystalDiskMark, it screamed past everything else, including some very fast USB 3.0 thumb drives.
I was able to copy over 16GB of video files to the T1 in just under 2 minutes. A lot of internal drives aren’t that fast, let alone portable external drives.
There are a lot of good portable storage choices available right now. If you need cheap and huge, you can get the standard portable hard drive which come in capacities of up to 2TB at less than $100. If you want ultimate portability, you can go with a USB thumb drive that usually strikes a good balance between performance and capacity. But if you’re looking for blazing performance out of a storage device that’s just barely bigger than a Ritz cracker, you’re going to want to go check out the Samsung SSD T1.
* Review unit loaned by Samsung Electronics