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Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch Review: Harder, Better, Faster, Safer

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch Review: Harder, Better, Faster, Safer

Samsung has bumped up its popular portable SSD by offering faster transfer speeds and a fingerprint scanner for added security.

Kunal Khullar
  • News18
  • Last Updated: January 27, 2020, 6:32 PM IST
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Samsung has been consistently making great SSDs, be it internal or external. And it has taken the company more than a year to upgrade its highly reliable T5 portable SSD. The all-new T7 comes in two options, a standard version and a ‘Touch’ version that comes with a fingerprint scanner.

Just like the previous model, this one is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB storage options with prices starting at Rs 11,999. Notably, there is no 250GB model this time. Samsung has bumped up the internals and has embedded a PCIe NVMe flash storage making it faster compared to its predecessor. The Touch variant will be available in India starting February and the non-Touch variant is expected to arrive later in the second quarter.

Design

The new T7 looks quite similar to the T5 but only slimmer and a bit taller. Samsung says that it offers dimensions similar to a credit card, and that’s quite true. The aluminum chassis is still around and honestly I am quite happy that Samsung hasn’t made any dramatic changes when it comes to the design. The simple clean look and lightweight construction allow you to stash it almost anywhere, even in your shirt pocket. Just like the T5, Samsung bundles two cables in the box - USB Type-C to Type-C and a USB Type-A to Type C. There’s the standard USB Type-C port and now we also have a square fingerprint scanner on top with an LED light surrounding it.

Of course, aluminum is not the best choice for a hard drive as flash storage produces heat. To address that, Samsung has added a phase-change layer inside the casing next to the circuit board to absorb the heat. This actually works well as during my testing the drive was only a little warm even after long operations.

Performance

Speaking of which, performance sees a big jump on the T7. Samsung claims that it can hit peak read speeds of 1,050MBps and peak write speeds of 1,000MBps. This is almost double the T5 which offered 540MBps transfer speeds.

In my tests, I transferred a 2GB file over a USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) on my Dell XPS 13 9350. It took about 5-6 seconds to copy at average transfer speeds of 410MBps. The same file took about 7 seconds over the standard USB-A (USB 3.0) port with average speeds of 275MBps. To check peak transfer speeds, I ran CrystalDiskMark benchmark where Samsung’s claims held up to be true.

samsung-t7-crystalmark

Fingerprint Scanner

Now as for the security aspect, the addition of a fingerprint scanner is a huge upgrade as you now get AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Once you plug in the drive to your PC or Mac device, the drive should show up on your system. It comes with Samsung’s Portable SSD software which lets you set up a password as well as manage the drive’s other features. The software is pretty straight forward and helps you save up to four fingerprints backed up with a password. Once you have set them both, the drive will prompt you to unlock the drive with your fingerprint or password every time you connect it to your PC.

The drive remains in read-only mode until you unlock it using your fingerprint or password. The best part is, you can use the drive on a smartphone or an iPad Pro and it gets unlocked once you scan your fingerprint. Basically you don’t need to install any additional app on your mobile device as the fingerprint security works seamlessly across devices.

Samsung has been quite clever with the ‘Motion LED’ surrounding the fingerprint scanner. The LED slowly blinks blue when the drive is in the locked state. Once you scan a valid fingerprint the LED indicator will stay on. The indicator starts moving in a clockwise manner when data transfer is in progress and if there is no activity for 15 seconds, the indicator turns off. This is mostly useful when you connect the drive to a smartphone.

Verdict

In my day-to-day usage, I found the T7 to be as reliable as the outgoing model. It is defintiely faster and the added fingerprint security just makes it more secure. Of course, if you are not bothered so much about the security aspect, one can always go for the non-Touch version. I think the T7 is a highly recommended portable SSD for creative professionals including photographers, videographers, designers and alike. The T7 is also an excellent option where data transfer speeds matter the most, be it professional or non-professional scenarios.

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