Samsung Portable SSD T3 Review: Fast, Sleek USB-C Storage

Introducing The Samsung SSD T3

Samsung leveraged its extensive NAND flash and storage IP and took aim at the high-performance portable storage market last year when it launched its impressive Portable SSD T1 external drive. There are countless portable flash drives and a multitude of external storage enclosures on the market that can house any standard 2.5” SSD. However, the Samsung Portable SSD T1 was something a little bit different. The T1 was somewhat of a tweener product that was significantly lighter and more compact than a typical external back-up drive, while offering performance closer to an internally-connected SSD.

We evaluated the T1 last year and really liked the product due to its sleek form factor and relatively high performance. It did have some shortcomings, however. The T1’s enclosure was extremely lightweight and felt less than substantial, capacities peaked at 1TB, and the drives carried a price premium.

At CES 2016, Samsung announced a new generation of portable SSDs, dubbed the T3. Whereas the original topped out at 1TB, the T3 doubles the maximum storage capacity to 2 Terabytes. The T3 also has a modernized enclosure with metal and rubberized accents, and the new drives are outfitted with USB 3.1 Type-C connections. The T3 is compatible with a wide range of USB-equipped devices, including the latest Android phones and tablets, along with PCs and Macs, of course.

Take a look at the specifications for the Samsung Portable SSD T3 family below and then we’ll take a 1TB model for a spin on the pages ahead...
samsung t3 ssd 1
Samsung T3 Portable SSD
Specifications & Features
Capacity 250GB 500GB 1TB 2TB
Interface Compatible with USB 3.1(Gen.1, 5Gbps), 3.0, 2.0
Dimensions 74 x 58 x 10.5 mm
Weight 51g
Transfer Speed Up to 450MB/sec
UASP Mode Support
Encryption AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Security Password setting (Optional) Requires Windows 7 or higher, Mac OS 10.7 or higher and Android KitKat (version 4.4) or higher.
Certification CE, BSMI, KC, VCCI, C-tick, FCC, IC, UL, TUV, CB, EAC
RoHS Compliance RoHS2
Warranty Limited 3-year
                         From $129.99 - Find The Samsung Portable SSD T3 @ Amazon

samsung t3 box
The Samsung Portable SSD T3 will initially be offered in four capacities, ranging from 250GB on up to 2TB. All of the drives in the family feature the same enclosure, a USB 3.1 interface and are outfitted with a Samsung controller and 3D V-NAND Flash memory, similar to an SSD 850 EVO. Samsung rates the drives for speeds “up to 450MB/sec”, which puts performance in-line with some internal SATA solid state drives, and much higher than many external storage solutions.
samsung t3 ssd 3
The Portable SSD T3 also has built in support for AES 256-bit encryption, which is enabled through a simple piece of software called “T3 Security Enabler”, three versions of which are included on the drive – one for Windows, one for Android, and another for Mac OSX.
t3 pw
The T3’s enclosure measures 74 x 58 x 10.5 mm, with rounded edges on the sides. About 3/4 of an inch at one end is covered with a black, rubberized coating, and the rest is anodized aluminum. At one end of the drive, there is a single USB Type-C connection and a small, blue activity / power LED. And at the other end is model and serial number information. On the top is a Samsung logo, and on the bottom you'll find some “Portable SSD T3” branding along with the drive capacity.

Overall, the look and feel of the T3 is improved over the original T1 in our opinion. The new enclosure looks great, is easier to handle, thanks to the rubberized coating, and it’s clearly more sturdy and substantial-feeling. The new enclosure also improves the shock resistance and is designed to improve thermals to minimize throttling and protect the drive inside.
samsung T3 bundle

Included with the Samsung Portable SSD T3 is some basic documentation and a foot long USB Type-C to Type-A cable. Samsung's Security Enabler software is included on the drive itself. We should also mention that Samsung warranties these drives for 3-years.

Tags:  Samsung, SSD, Storage, USB, T3

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