Thinking back through the USB drives we have used over the years the most impressive was probably the Samsung T1. Incredibly small, incredibly fast, light and a good capacity. There were a few minor tweaks that could have been made but overall it was fantastic. Now we have the follow up and its time to test it in our Samsung T3 SSD Review.
Samsung T3 SSD Review – Packaging and Bundle
Samsung package the T3 in a fairly compact box and make the wise decision to have the drive on display, leaving the consumer in no doubt over the size of the device. Inside we get some product information and a USB 3.1 cable.
Samsung T3 SSD Review – Software
Samsung also bundle a free app, compatible with Windows, Mac and Android, storing it on the drive at the factory. Using it we choose if we enable AES 256-bit encryption. Simply a case of choosing a password to protect our data should we lose the drive.
Samsung T3 SSD Review – The T3 Portable SSD
Looking back to the original T series drive from Samsung there are a couple of changes which are immediately noticeable on the T3, First is that we have moved from a mix of textured and glossy plastic to metal combined with a soft rubber section. There is some product branding on the surface and the dimensions are 74x58x10.5mm with a weight of 51g. The final external change can be seen on the end of the drive, now we have a USB 3.1 type C.
Our sample is the 2TB model with 250GB, 500GB and 1Tb variants also available. The drive uses the proprietary 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) storage also found in Samsungs internal SSDs. With this drive we have a 3-year warranty. Speed wise Samsung rate the drive for up to 450MB/s. Finally, below is a size comparison with a fairly standard enclosure containing a 2.5″ SSD.
Samsung T3 SSD Review – Performance
Key Test Specifications: Tested on Windows 10 64bit using an X99 motherboard, 16GB DDR4-2800, GTX 980, Samsung 850 Series SSD and a Core i7-5960X CPU.
Samsung T3 SSD Review – Conclusion
Starting with the build quality/design of the T3 we have a definite improvement over the T1 model. The metal casing which Samsung says has a frame inside for reinforcement is lovely and the soft touch end a nice little addition. The USB 3.1 type C connector is also an improvement over the rather flimsy USB connector on the T1 (not an issue unique to the T1).
The bundle and pricing are ok. Competitive pricing overall and the software does exactly what we need…sets the encryption on the drive. Overall if we had one minor complaint about the drive it would be that it is a shame it is a touch larger than the T1. Of course the T3 is still super compact, it’s just not quite to the extreme of the T1.
So that leaves us with performance where the drive really excels. In our maximum speed test the T3 peaks at a level above its advertised speed and a touch ahead of the T1 we previously reviewed. Other high speed USB3 devices really cant compete and anything using a mechanical drive within an enclosure will be limited to around 1/3 of the speed provided by the T3. For those looking for real world results, we transferred a 7GB video file to the drive in around 35 seconds and 1.5 GB of photos completed in around 10 seconds.
When we take into account the speed, high quality casing, good encryption, competitive pricing and decent warranty the Samsung T3 SSD wins our Diamond award.