Today Samsung announced their new Portable SSD T3 line of external SSDs, building on the success of the existing T1 line. From a technology perspective, not a whole lot has changed from the T1. The core SSD remains the same TLC V-NAND and controller found in Samsung’s 850 Evo line of SSDs, which has proven quite capable since it launched in late 2014. The changes with the T3 can be broken into two areas: new features, and aesthetics.
Starting with the latter, the T3 sports an all-new metallic casing in place of the plastic casing used on the earlier T1. The idea is to create a product that feels like more of a premium device, and an external SSD tends to be very firmly planted in the premium market. Along with looking and feeling nicer, the metal casing is also more durable, which could be important if you happen to purchase one of the larger models. That brings us to the new features and technology.
Last year, Samsung updated their 850 Evo line with a 2TB model (see our full review). The T3 updates the portable SSD portfolio to now include a 2TB model, in addition to the T1’s existing 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities. Along with the updated capacity and new chassis, the T3 also features a single USB 3.1 Type-C connector. Note however that this is a 5Gbps USB 3.1 connection, so transfer rates are still limited by USB speed rather than the SSD. In practice, that means transfer rates top out at 450MB/s, the same as the T1.
While the idea of an external SSD attached via USB is nothing new, Samsung has proven capable of making some of the fastest SSDs around, and the industrial design of the T3 is much nicer than other alternatives that simply use a 2.5-inch form factor SATA drive in an enclosure. Adding a Type-C USB connector does mean users with older systems will need an adapter, but newer laptops in particular should have native Type-C support. NAND storage is also much less likely to be damaged than traditional spinning disks, potentially making the T3 more reliable.
Availability of the Portable SSD T3 is slated for February 2016, with pricing not yet announced. Given the similar features, pricing should be close to that of the T1, perhaps with a slight premium for the metal case. For more information, visit www.samsung.com/T3.
|Samsung Portable SSD T3 Specifications|
|Interface||Compatible with USB 3.1, USB 2.0|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||74 x 58 x 10.5 mm|
|Weight||51 grams (less than 2 oz.)|
|Transfer Speed||Sequential: Up to 450MB/sec|
|Encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption|