Storage comes in all shapes and sizes. But even knowing this, the Samsung Portable SSD T1 impresses. Sure, we have USB key-sized flash drives, and we have flash cards. But often these devices lack the complex algorithms for optimal flash management; for that matter, often these drives use lesser grade flash. And getting high capacities in such form factors are just not on the radar.
The Samsung Portable SSD T1 fixes all of that. Samsung has built an external drive designed for use on-the-go, and it uses its state-of-the-art V-NAND technology. V-NAND flash refers to 3D Vertical NAND memory cells that are stacked vertically, instead of the traditional horizontal approach, to provide 100 times the capacity of standard flash media.
Thanks to the V-NAND technology, Samsung crams unheard-of amounts of flash memory into a tight space. Available in capacities up to 1TB, the T1 measures 2.8 inches (71mm) long by 2.1 inches (53mm) wide. That means its footprint is about the same as a credit card.
Samsung didn’t note the weight in its specs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the weight barely registers on the scale – that’s just how lightweight this drive is. While some 2.5-inch hard drives have gotten to impressible small and light dimensions, they’re still at least twice the footprint of the Samsung SSD T1, and all of those platters do add up to weigh something.
For those who are mobile pros, or anyone for whom weight becomes a concern (wait – that carry-on bag in Asia is only supposed to weigh 5 kilograms, and that’s with all my electronics?), this drive’s mini size and featherlight weight are a dream. In fact, I might even say it’s too light: I could get concerned I wouldn’t be able to find it in my kit bag when I get one. And I will, because it’s so cool and light.
The drive itself leverages Samsung’s existing SSD technologies. Samsung told me the drive that’s inside uses Samsung’s tiny mSATA drive, based on the Samsung 850 EVO. In other words, the T1 is built for performance-hungry applications.
The drive’s sequential read/write speeds go up to 450 megabytes per second (MB/s) via a USB 3.0 connection. Samsung’s specs quote random read/write speeds are up to 8,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) and 21,000 IOPS. While I didn’t get a chance to try the drive on my computer, Samsung says these numbers translate to four times faster transfer speeds as compared with external hard drives.
The write speed is responsive and fast like an internal SSD and up to 100 times faster than an external hard disk drive (HDD). Depending on the file size, the Portable SSD T1 has a data transfer speed four times faster than an external HDD. A 3GB movie file should take just eight seconds to transfer, and a 10GB movie file 27 seconds, about one-third the time for the same transfer on an external hard disk drive.
For those concerned with security, the drive has AES 256-bit encryption. It’s also shock resistant up to 1500G/0.5ms. And a feature dubbed Dynamic Thermal Guard will protect the drive in extreme temperatures.
The Portable SSD will be available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities, and is due out later this month. Samsung says the 250GB drive will sell for $179.99, and the 1TB around $599.99.