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Review: Samsung's little one ounce external SSD has blazing fast speed

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 16, 2015
Samsung claims a top read speed of 450 MBps, and that's not far off my test results.

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Samsung's T1 SSD. Credit: Samsung

Samsung this week released its first external drive, a svelte little flash device that has up to 1TB of capacity and blazing fast speeds of up to 450 MBps.

When Samsung first sent me an invitation to review it's new T1 SSD, I declined. After all, I thought, it's just another external solid-state drive (SSD) among a sea of drives out there. Then they told me the drive weighed one ounce, and I changed my tune.

If you're going to make a portable drive, you either want it rugged or small and light.

The T1 SSD comes in a packaging reminiscent of an iPhone 5 or 6: a bright white, thick cardboard box that screams quality product inside. The SSD rests snuggly inside a form-fitting cardboard holder, and even the tiny 5-in. long USB 3.0 cable it comes with slips into a fitted trough.

Once out of the box, set up is fast and easy. After you plug it into your computer, the disk utility automatically sends you pop-up messages to take you through the steps of naming the disk and setting up your password. Before agreeing to use a password, the disk first warns you that if you forget it, there's no way to recover it and that by using the password reset feature, you will permanently erase all data on the drive.

Well, that's one way to ensure data security.

The data is protected with the AES 256-bit encryption algorithm.

Known for internal SSDs based on SATA or PCIe connection standards, Samsung's first external SSD only uses the USB 3.0 specification. Being a Mac user, I would have liked to have seen a Thunderbolt port on it as well, or perhaps Samsung could have waited to include a USB Type-C connector (10 Gbps).

Benchmark speed tests
That notwithstanding, I do love USB 3.0. At 5 Gbps, it's 10 times faster than USB 2.0 (up to 480 Mbps). So uploading a 2 GB .MP4 movie onto the drive took just 6 seconds.

I then copied and pasted a file folder with 10 GB of data made up of 1,523 files of various kinds, from photos and videos, to PowerPoint decks and Word documents. The transfer took just 30 seconds.

Next, I conducted benchmark tests of the Samsung T1 SSD using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test software for Macs. I connected the external SSD to an Apple MacBook Pro running OS X Mountain Lion (v. 10.8.4) with 8 GB of RAM and a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor.

The results were pretty stunning compared to other external drives I've tested. The benchmark software revealed a maximum read speed of 432MBps and write speeds of up to 393MBps.

 

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