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Samsung T1 external SSD review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £229
inc VAT

Super-fast, ultra-compact and secure, Samsung’s T1 is a fantastic portable SSD


Capacity: 500GB, Cost per gigabyte: £0.45, Interface: USB3, Claimed read: 450MB/s


The Samsung T1 is the most compact and lightweight external SSD we’ve seen. It squeezes 500GB of storage into a case measuring 71x53x9mm, so is only slightly bigger than a Hovis biscuit, and weighs just 30g. It’s small enough to slip in a pocket or bag and forget it’s even there – so much so that we would be worried about losing it. A key ring loop or slipcase would have helped put our minds at ease. The drive is rather stylish, thanks to a combination of glossy black and diamond-pattern textured plastic.

The T1 is based on Samsung’s own 850 EVO desktop SSD, meaning it uses the same 32-layer, TLC V-NAND flash storage and MEX/MGX SSD controller. We’ve seen a few USB flash drives that are even smaller than the T1 yet match it in terms of storage capacity, but Samsung has opted for a slightly larger design in order to make room for a full SSD controller.

This, combined with a USB3 connection and support for the USB Attached SCSI protocol, should give the drive an edge in terms of transfer speeds compared to high-capacity USB flash drives. This theory was borne out during our testing, where the T1 managed to write large files at 319.7MB/s and read them back even faster at 392.3MB/s. This was more than twice the speed of the largest USB flash drive we’ve reviewed – the SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.0

Our intensive small files test was unsurprisingly tougher, but the T1 still managed to write at a rapid 42.5MB/s and read at 71.9MB/s. This was also twice as fast as our high-capacity USB flash drive managed. The T1 is so quick you could comfortably stream Full HD or even 4K video over USB3, meaning video editors would be able to take entire projects with them on the move.

Out of the box, the T1 is pre-formatted with the exFAT file system, letting both Windows and Mac OS X users start using it straight away without having to reformat. It also supports AES-256 encryption, which business users will appreciate for keeping their sensitive data secure. The bundled software lets you set up a password when first plugging in the disk, preventing unauthorized access should someone get their hands on the drive.

Because it has no moving parts, the T1 is completely silent and should survive greater shocks and vibration than a mechanical external hard disk; we dropped it on to a desk out of a pocket onto a range of surfaces and our data remained intact. The lack of noise will certainly appeal to anyone currently using a noisy mechanical external hard disk, too.

The T1 has seriously quick transfer speeds and a high storage capacity in a pocket-size package. It’s a cut above a USB flash drive and more portable than other external SSDs we’ve reviewed. 

At £229, the 500GB model isn’t extortionate either, considering the only 512GB flash drive we could find costs over £100 more. Competing portable SSDs are around £20 cheaper, but are much larger; we feel the T1’s compact size justifies the extra cost. While it’s true a 500GB mechanical hard disk will cost significantly less, these can’t match the T1 for speed and will be more vulnerable to vibrations and shock damage.

If you need a sizeable amount of storage on your person at all times, and don’t want to worry about knocks and drops killing your data, the T1 is an excellent buy.

Cost per gigabyte£0.45
Claimed read450MB/s
Claimed write450MB/s
WarrantyThree-year RTB
Part codeMU-PS500B/EU

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