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Samsung T5 2TB USB-C SSD
Related: backup, encryption, hard drive, Roy P, Samsung, security, SSD, storage, USB, USB-C
MPG tested the about $230 @AMAZON Samsung T5 2TB SSD (discounted price as of 2021).
Update Jan 2021: the Samsung T7 was released in 2020. The Samsung T7 has performance problems for some usages due to the use of 2-tier flash memory.
It’s awesome to carry a 51 gram 2TB SSD in-between the folds of my wallet in my pocket. Or any other pocket or similar. I cannot get by with a 1TB SSD any longer (internal or external) without jumping through hoops to juggle space, so 2TB has become mandatory.
I love the fact that I can drop the diminutive Samsung T5 into a zippered pouch in my daypack or pants, and be sure that I have all my data with me, just in case my van were broken into and the computer stole. While I keep other backups, they too could be stolen, and are too bulky and heavy to carry around in the field all day.
Thing is, I’m often out photographing 7 to 15 days, so the van has it all—so unless I carry something like this with me while out shooting for the day, I’ve lost a week or two of shooting and other data if someone steals my computer gear in the van. I use it with my 2017 iMac 5K for clone backups and a Time Machine backup (2TB offers a lot of room!)
At $100 off as of late December 2017, the about $699 Samsung T5 2TB SSD is tiny, weighs 51 grams, and is very fast (about 450 MB/sec)—that’s not what I’d want to work from, but it is plenty fast for backups or any kind of similar tasks. Indeed it *is* fast enough to work off for most users.
The Samsung T5 comes with both USB-A and USB-C cables, so it’s plug and play with a Mac or PC. Tip: zip-tie the two cables together so that the drive can plug into either USB-C or USB-A (so one or the other of the cables is not lost).
There are far higher performance Thunderbolt 3 SSDs out there, but they are much larger and cost more—different design/performance goals.
MPG did not test the hardware encryption option.
- 2TB Storage Capacity
- USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-A Connections
- Up to 540 MB/s Data Transfer Rate
- USB Type-C & USB Type-A Cables Included
- AES 256-Bit Hardware Encryption
The black Samsung T5 Portable Solid-State Drive provides 2TB of storage capacity for notebooks, desktops, and mobile devices sporting a typical USB interface or a reversible USB Type-C port.
The T5 portable SSD utilizes a Samsung MGX controller and 3-bit 3D V-NAND MLC flash technology to deliver fast read speeds of up to 540 MB/s and write speeds up to 515 MB/s. To keep up with this level of performance, USB 3.1 technology is on board and supports transfer speeds of up to 10 Gb/s.
For keeping your data safe, the T5 is armed with an AES 256-bit hardware encryption engine, which helps prevent unauthorized access. Aside from protections, Samsung includes one USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable and one USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable, so you can use the T5 portable drive with your current and future gear.
Fast Transfer Speeds
With Samsung V-NAND flash memory and USB 3.1 technology, the T5 provides transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s, which is up to 4.9 times faster than external HDDs. Transfers and backups of large-sized data including 4K videos and high-resolution photos will be quicker and faster.
The T5's top-to-bottom metal design and rounded unibody framework allow it to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. This T5 comes in an aluminum black finish.
Compact and Light
The T5 weighs 1.8 ounces (51g) with a thickness of 0.4" (10.2mm).
The T5 has no moving parts and a sturdy metal body, so it can handle drops of up to 6.6' (2m).
The optional password protection with AES 256-bit hardware encryption keeps your personal and private data secure. Management Manage your data easily with an intuitive software program for Windows and Macs systems to set up a password and download the latest firmware updates. A mobile app for Android smartphones and tablets is also available via download.
The included USB Type-C to Type-C cable and USB Type-C to Type-A cable provide seamless connectivity without the hassle of purchasing additional adapters.
Performance is ample for any backup task, indeed most users would be delighted with this for most all work—it’s 2X to 4X the speed of the fastest hard drive I’ve ever tested.
Speed vs transfer size
Perhaps more impressive is the high performance even at 32/64/128/256/512 KB transfer sizes—performance equalling the very fastest hard drives when the hard drive is empty starting at 32K and then vastly outpacing.
Roy P writes:
I’ve been thinking of attaching my Samsung 2TB flash drive to the top of my MacBook Pro with Velcro, so most of the time I can leave it there as a quick backup drive. I can easily rip it out if I want to keep it separate from my Mac.
I’ve been searching for a really short (e.g., 4-6”) USB-C to USB-C cable that could use in this mode. But so far, I haven’t seen any – the shortest cables are like 1.5 feet. Please let me know if you have come across anyone who makes a short cable.
One problem is, the cable that came with the drive is quite stiff – I wish it were more flexible. This drive mounts and ejects very quickly (compared to a HDD). So maybe I’ll just use it with the cable. Or use a Velcro, but only temporarily, so the drive doesn’t slide off my desk and drop down and hang at the end of the cable (that has already happened a few times!).
... The drive could even be kept “parked” on its Velcro pad. I’d still like to find a shorter (and more flexible) cable, though. The cable attached to the OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 SSD is much more flexible than the cable the Samsung was shipped with.
MPG: Allowing for opening and closing the laptop and not stressing the ports or cable, I’d say exercise care on cable length. I’d velcro it, but attach the cable separately; it's too big a risk to damage the port on either end. Over time that is almost a certainty.
The two cables that ship with the Samsung T5 are about 18 inches / 0.5 meter long.
Roy might be better off using the OWC USB-C Travel Dock and velcroing the Samsung SSD to the top of that, taping down excess cable from a 0.5m USB-C cable.