If you’re in the market for a new USB flash drive, this is a great time to look at portable SSD options. While Samsung may not be the first name you think of when it comes to storage solutions, they have a solid reputation when it comes to storage devices. If you’ve been looking at options from SanDisk, Seagate, Western Digital (WD), you should really consider Samsung’s offerings.
Let’s look at Samsung’s T5 Portable 500GB SSD model and its features.
Samsung T5 500 GB Read & Write Rates
This is probably the first specification that you should look at since it will determine how long you sit around waiting for your files to save, open and copy. The drive uses V-NAND flash memory technology, which is quite fast.
Samsung advertises a transfer speed of up to 540 MB per second IF the host device and cables support USB 3.1 Gen 2, and UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) mode is enabled. If you have a newer computer and version of Windows 10 and Mac OS, you should meet the requirements provided you use Samsung’s supplied cables.
During my daily usage of the drive, I can confirm that it is quite fast when constantly reading and writing files. My tests show an average read speed of around 430 MB per second. The write speeds averaged around 390 MB per second. Basically, if you are working with smaller files like Word documents, JPGs, PDFs, PSD, AI or EPS files, you will love how this drive handles those files.
How To Achieve Maximum Speeds
As mentioned above, Samsung indicates that you need to use the cables and hardware that support USB 3.1 Gen 2, and you have UASP mode enabled.
In addition to the supported cables, you will need to have a computer with a USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 port. These are usually colored in blue, but it may not always be the case. For example, the wide part of the USB cable (USB-A port) will often be in blue on most PCs. However, this is usually not the case on Apple products. So if you have an older laptop or desktop with USB 2.0 ports (black colored), you will not achieve high transfer speeds.
Design & Build Quality
The build quality of the Samsung T5 SSD is sturdy. It has a slightly brushed metal finish that pretty resistant to fingerprints. The unit does not get very hot during daily use. However, it may get warm if you transfer a large volume of files. I routinely copy around 45 GB of data daily for backup purposes without issue. The unit measures a little under 3 inches long by 2¼ inches wide. The height is approximately 0.4″, and weighs in at around 50 grams, so it is a pretty compact unit.
It has a blue LED indicator light to let you know that it is powered and flashes when transferring data. The unit has a USB Type-C connector so that you can use a supported cable with a USB Type-C connector on both ends of the cable, or a cable with a USB Type-C connector for the drive, and a USB-A connector for your computer.
The drive is rated as being shock-resistant, but having a metal finish, it won’t do well absorbing impacts, unlike the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. Samsung lists that the drive can withstand drops of up to 6½ feet, which is probably possible since it has no internal moving parts.
If you’re looking for security, this drive makes it very easy to set it up. When you first plug in the drive, you get a setup wizard to help you set a password for the drive. Whenever you plug in the drive, the security screen will popup for you to enter your credentials to get access to all of your files. The unlocking process is quick and easy.
The drive uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is good to see since some drives only use 128-bit encryption. Please note that the use of security features is optional.
Actual Storage Size
All drives marketed as having an exact GB count, such as 128 GB or 500 GB, are always a bit lower due to various factors, such as hidden partitions, formatting, invisible files, etc. My 500 GB drive amounted to 465 GB of usable storage, which is still decent for me.
Price & Value
You can find this drive for around $90 USD to $160 CAD, sometimes lower. This works out to approximately $0.18 USD per GB. In my case, where I had 465 GB of usable storage, it would work out to around $0.19 USD per GB, which is a good value.
This drive is compatible with PC & Mac. Windows 7 or higher is supported, as well as Mac OS X 10.9 or newer.
The package comes with the drive, and two cables – one USB Type-C to C, and one USB Type-C to A cable. Be sure to use these cables if you want the maximum supported speeds.
This is a great drive to buy, especially now that is has been going on sale due to the newer models being released. It is also a way cheaper option than getting an Ironkey USB drive if you don’t need a crazy level of security and weatherproof capabilities.
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