Portability and performance redefined

The Samsung Portable SSD T1 is a one-of-kind portable drive. It’s a bit larger than thumb drive, as easy to use, yet has up to 1TB of storage space and, most importantly, delivers unmatched performance.

What’s more, unlike other compact storage device, the T1 supports data encryption. It also works with both Windows and Mac computers, after a brief setup process.

All that makes it an excellent portable storage device that has enough to justify its current hefty cost of $179 (£120, AU$220), $299 (£200, AU$365), and $599 (£395, AU$735) for 250GB, 500GB and 1TB, respectively. (Those UK and Australian prices are rough conversions; Samsung says the T1 starts at £155 in the UK, with Australian prices yet to be announced.) If you can stomach the price, I recommend it without any reservation.

For other options, including some that are more affordable, check out this list of top portable drives on the market.

The Samsung Portable SSD T1 is tiny.
Dong Ngo/CNET

Super-compact design

The T1 is based on the recently reviewed
Samsung SSD 850 Evo
solid-state drive — but not the 2.5-inch version. Instead, it uses the mSATA version that’s much smaller. The result: the T1 is tiny, measuring just 2.5 by 0.35 by 2.1 inches (64 by 9 by 53mm). It’s basically about the size of a large thumb drive.

Housed in a plastic chassis, the drive is also very light. At just 1 ounce (30 grams), it’s about as heavy as the included 5-inch USB cable. The drive connects to a computer via its standard micro-USB 3.0 port for both power and data.

Samsung Portable SSD T1 Specs

3D-NAND with TurboWrite

Despite its size, the T1 has the main features of the 850 Evo, which include the use of 3D-vertical NAND flash memory. Traditionally, 2D-planar type NAND flash memory cells — the storage units on an SSD — lay flat on the surface of the silicon wafer. The T1’s internal storage’s flash memory cells are stacked in up to 32 layers, which allows for significantly more cells in the same number of wafer bits. This greatly increases the density and means, among other things, more storage space for less cost.

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