Price (RRP): $from 279
The Samsung T7 Touch has two unique selling features. A touch button for fingerprint security and the latest USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) interface that can reach 1Gbps data transfer speeds.
The Samsung T7 Touch does in one second what takes between six and ten times longer on a traditional external SATA6 USB interface SSD. But there is one catch – you need a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 device to copy from or to.
Now before you get confused about the Samsung T7 Touch, its interface is backwards compatible with all USB. The existing USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 and 2 have been thoughtfully renamed by the USB-IF as USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and 2 for 5Gbps and 10Gbps respectively. And the drive is backwards compatible with USB-A 2.0 and 3.0!
Samsung T7 Touch (500GB model tested)
- Samsung website
- Colours: Silver or Black
- Warranty: 3-years
Capacity/Price (RRP or typical online price plus freight):
- MU-PC500 500GB $279 (56 cents per GB)
- MU-PC1T0 1TB $439 (44 cents)
- MU-PC2T0 2TB $799 (40 cents)
In the box:
- Samsung T7 touch (85x 57x 8mm x 58g) and formatted to exFAT
- USB-C to USB-C 30cm cable (3.2 Gen 2)
- USB-C to USB-A 30 cm cable (3.2 Gen 1)
Unfortunately, we don’t have any native USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 computers at present. Our test Lenovo 2019 Yoga C930 has 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (that should be Gen 2 compatible) and 1 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1.
So, our tests reflect that setup.
The Samsung T7 achieves 857/769MB/s using a Thunderbolt 3 port – that’s not far off the claimed speeds, and we expect the 500GB to perform a little slower than 1 or 2GB with larger caches.
On a using a Gen 1 port it achieves 439/437MB/s which is at the limit of that port.
But interestingly both ports had very similar large file transfer rates – within a few percent of each other indicating that there is a small cache buffering the flash storage. If you transfer a lot of large files, then you may need to look at competing products with larger caches.
Obviously, it works on Thunderbolt 3 (20Gbps) at close to Gen 2 speeds.
Let’s dig deeper
The Samsung T7 touch uses 3-bit 92L TLC V-NAND, and its cache is called TurboWrite Technology. This is not really DRAM cache, but a small and fixed portion of the TLC is treated as 1-bit SLC.
That cache, one full with larger files, does slow down the transfer rates. Most typcial users will not notice it.
The App (tested Windows)
The Samsung Portable SSD software for Windows, Mac or Android allows for firmware updates and setting security levels – off, password, or password and fingerprint. The data is AES 256-bit hardware encrypted.
We were unable to discover any other functionality like backup or restore. Samsung’s response was “You can select files such as photos and mp3s that you want to back up through the file manager on your device, and copy/paste them to the PSSD.”
We presume (not tested) that it also works with commercial back up software.
You can register up to four fingerprints.
A few caveats
Being solid-state, it can withstand drops up to 2 metres, but it is not IP rated waterproof.
Your USB port needs to deliver at least 5V/1.5A – most recent ones do. Older USB-A 2.0 (black insert) may not work.
If you lose your password or finger? you cannot reset the device – it is cactus.
Touch is only for security – it does not initiate a backup.
Use only the cables provided – other cables may not support USB-C 3.2 gen 2.
GadgetGuy’s take – Samsung T7 touch is an evolution
I have been using Samsung T devices for some time. They are all leading-edge (when released), and this uses the fastest USB-C interface.
But it also has an X5 Thunderbolt 3 version that is twice as fast and twice as expensive.
Then the T5 version is about as fast as the T7 using a Gen 1 interface. So, if that is the interface you have then bag a bargain.
Competition: SanDisk Extreme Pro has a larger cache. It does not have fingerprint security