Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch
Watchtower library for mac high sierra. Dec 30, 2018 Support Communities / Mac OS & System Software / macOS Mojave. Samsung T5 portable ssd and Mojave. Does the t5 and mojave work together? I can't get mine to backup the OS. Make sure the drive is formatted for Mac. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if using Time Machine. You can format using Disk Utility. Mac Owners Should Hold Off on New Samsung T1 Flash SSD. On January 20, Samsung announced what appears to be an exceptional new storage product, a one ounce USB 3 external Flash drive, essentially a portable Flash SSD, called the T1.
ProsBuilt-in fingerprint reader and LED status indicator. Compact size. Fast performance. Available in capacities up to 2TB. Three-year warranty.
ConsRelatively expensive. Requires software for fingerprint unlocking on a PC or Mac.
Bottom LineOffering excellent performance and easy-to-use security, Samsung's credit-card-sized, fingerprint-reading Portable SSD T7 Touch is a versatile external solid-state drive.
Once an afterthought, the security of your sensitive data is now one of the foremost computing considerations in a world rife with targeted advertising and ransomware. So Samsung's new Portable SSD T7 Touch adds a fingerprint reader, an innovative solution to securing the vast trove of data that many of us carry around on our external drives. The T7 Touch (starts at $130 for 500GB; $230 for 1TB as tested) is the first drive we've tested to offer fingerprint security, and it comes with markedly improved performance in a sturdy, diminutive, go-anywhere design. It's our new Editors' Choice for best external solid-state drive.
Stash It Anywhere
The Portable SSD T7 Touch replaces the T5 introduced in 2017. The drives look very similar from the outside—small rectangles made of aluminum. The T7 Touch measures 0.3 by 3.3 by 2.2 inches and weighs just two ounces, meaning you can stash it just about anywhere. It's tiny compared to portable hard drives, though it's not alone among its SSD brethren. Other similarly sized drives include the Samsung Portable SSD X5 and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD.
Although using an SSD instead of spinning platter technology offers room to slim down, SSDs tend to generate a lot more heat, and a minuscule aluminum enclosure is not great for heat dissipation. Samsung addresses this problem in the T7 Touch by including a phase-change layer next to the drive's circuit board, which absorbs and then gradually releases heat. It's intended to keep the surface temperature below 113 degrees Fahrenheit. That might seem like a very high limit, but it's likely to occur only during sustained periods of use, such as transferring enormous files in excess of 100GB. The drive was warm but never hot to the touch during my entire time testing it.
The top side of the T7 Touch sports a Samsung logo and the drive's signature feature, its fingerprint reader. The square reader is prominently outlined with a white border and similar in size to the readers we've seen on many laptops in recent years. The white border does double duty as an LED activity indicator. It glows solid when you connect the drive to a device, rotates in a clockwise motion when the drive is reading or writing data, and blinks when the drive is locked and waiting to recognize a fingerprint.
The T7 Touch is equipped with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port on one of its shorter edges. This oval-shaped port is capable of transfer speeds up to 10GBps, which is much higher than the drive's actual throughput, though not the 20GBps that some USB 3.2 Gen 2 2x2 drives are capable of. Yes, USB nomenclature is confusing and only becoming more so, but if you've got a device made in the last five years or so with a Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.x port, the Samsung SSD should be compatible with it, if not necessarily at its peak speeds.
Samsung provides both a USB Type-C cable and a Type-C-to-Type-A cable. That's a thoughtful addition (though one we expect at this price point), since it means you won't need to buy a separate adapter if you're connecting the device to a rectangular USB Type-A port.
The T7 Touch comes preformatted in the exFAT file format, which means it should work with Windows, macOS, and Android without any reformatting needed on the user's part. I tested the drive with a Samsung Galaxy S9, a Lenovo ThinkPad T470, and an Apple MacBook Pro, and each recognized the drive the first time I plugged it in.
To set up the drive's encryption and register a fingerprint, you'll need to install the Samsung Portable SSD software. Installers for the Windows and Mac versions of the software come already loaded on the drive, while the Android app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on devices running Lollipop (Android 5.0) or later. I installed the Windows software and found it extremely easy to use. At first launch with the T7 Touch connected, the app prompts you to name the drive and choose a security mode: None, Password, or Password and Fingerprint.
After I selected the last option and chose a password, the app walked me through the process of registering my fingerprint. This happens just as it does on a phone or laptop: I raised and lowered my finger onto the sensor multiple times at different angles until the app told me to stop. Once the first print is registered, you can register another one if you'd like.
After security is turned on, you'll need to unlock the drive each time you connect it to a device. The key advantage of a fingerprint over a conventional password is that after the initial setup, no software is required for it to work. All encryption and decryption is handled on the drive. That means you can attach the T7 Touch to your wireless router, TV, gaming console, or other device and unlock it using your fingerprint. I tested this using a 60-inch Samsung TV, which recognized the drive but displayed none of its contents until it registered my fingerprint. Unfortunately, you do need the Samsung software installed to unlock the drive after connecting it to a PC or Mac.
The T7 Touch uses AES 256-bit hardware encryption, considered the unbreakable gold standard among civilian solutions, and comes with a three-year warranty.
The T7 Touch uses 3-bit multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory technology. Samsung pioneered this cell-stacking approach, which essentially involves multiple layers of cells instead of just a single layer. Greater cell density can result in increased data speeds, all else being equal. Many other manufacturers also use this stacking approach; some SSDs now feature four layers, an arrangement called quad-level cell (QLC).
The drive is rated to achieve sequential read speeds of 1,050MBps and sequential write speeds of 1,000MBps, and it came close in our testing. It achieved 952MBps read and 960MBps write speeds in the Crystal DiskMark test.
Speeds on the Blackmagic test were a bit lower, at 888MBps read and 816MBps write, but still faster than the preceding T5 drive. Blackmagic approximates how well a drive can handle the intense demands of serving as a scratch disk for video editing in the Davinci Resolve software.
The T7 Touch also turned in competitive results in our folder drag-and-drop test and our PCMark 7 test. The latter approximates many different workflows, including web browsing and word processing, and measures how the drive affects them.
As you'd expect, the Portable SSD T7 Touch is obviously much faster than external hard drives like the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch. It's slower, however, than the fastest portable drives, like the Samsung Portable SSD X5. The X5 can achieve such high speeds in part because it uses the Thunderbolt 3 interface, which limits its compatibility to laptop and desktop PCs with a Thunderbolt 3 port and prevents it from working with some software such as our PCMark 7 benchmark above. It's also much more expensive than the T7 Touch.
Fingerprints Are the Future
The T7 Touch reflects a world increasingly concerned with data security. It achieves an excellent blend of privacy and ease of use. No, fingerprints aren't as secure as passcodes or passwords, but they're much easier to use and you'll never forget them. Fingerprint locking also lets the T7 Touch work with a broader range of devices while its security is enabled, rather than just being compatible with PCs and Macs.
On the other hand, if security is of the utmost importance, the SecureData SecureDrive BT could be a better option, with its remote management features and impenetrable interior.
While the T7 Touch isn't the fastest portable SSD we've tested, its speed is more than enough for copying all but the largest of files. Unless you regularly access multi-gigabyte videos, the Samsung's throughput should suffice. At more than 20 cents per gigabyte for the 1TB model we tested, it's a bit pricey, but it's nevertheless an excellent all-around external drive that offers both good performance and easy-to-use security.
Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch
Bottom Line: Offering excellent performance and easy-to-use security, Samsung's credit-card-sized, fingerprint-reading Portable SSD T7 Touch is a versatile external solid-state drive.