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Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD Review: Sleek, Secure Pocketable Storage

Samsung's T7 Touch portable SSD lets you unlock your data with a swipe of your finger.

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Samsung’s T7 Touch is an innovative portable SSD that blends fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 performance with convenient AES 256-bit hardware security at your fingertip.

For

  • AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Built-in fingerprint scanner
  • Attractive aesthetics
  • Available in capacities up to 2TB
  • 18” USB-A and USB-C cables

Against

  • 3-year warranty
  • Small write cache
  • No IP rating

Samsung’s T7 Touch portable SSD is an innovative, secure, simple-to-use portable SSD. With sleek styling and performance of up to about 10 Gbps read / write, it both looks and performs fast. It even has hardware encryption that works in conjunction with a built-in fingerprint scanner for keeping data secure. But while it is innovative, it isn’t the best value you're looking for a 10 Gbps portable SSD and it's not the fastest drive in its class, either.

Whether you're just backing up your data or storing your media library, portable SSDs enable snappy data retrieval. The added speed over a standard HDD can come in handy in many situations, especially if you value your time. With Samsung’s T7 promising to deliver 9.5x the performance of an HDD, it's getting harder to even consider a pokey portable hard drive over a snappy external SSD.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Samsung T7 Touch 500GBSamsung T7 Touch 1TBSamsung T7 Touch 2TB
Pricing$129.99$229.99$399.99
Capacity (User / Raw)500GB / 512GB1000GB /1024GB2000GB /2048GB
Interface / ProtocolUSB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2
Included Cable (s)USB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-AUSB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-AUSB Type-C to Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A
Sequential Read1,050 MBps1,050 MBps1,050 MBps
Sequential Write1,000 MBps1,000 MBps1,000 MBps
Interface ControllerASMedia ASM2362ASMedia ASM2362ASMedia ASM2362
NAND ControllerSamsung Pablo Samsung Pablo Samsung Pablo
DRAMn/an/an/a
Storage MediaSamsung 92L TLC Samsung 92L TLCSamsung 92L TLC
Default File SystemexFATexFATexFAT
PowerBus-poweredBus-poweredBus-powered
Security AES 256-bit encryption AES 256-bit encryption AES 256-bit encryption
Dimensions (L x W x H)85 x 57 x 8.0mm (3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3 inches)85 x 57 x 8.0mm (3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3 inches)85 x 57 x 8.0mm (3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3 inches)
Weight58 grams (2.0 oz)58 grams (2.0 oz)58 grams (2.0 oz)
Part NumberMU-PC500KMU-PC1T0KMU-PC2T0K
Warranty3-Years3-Years3-Years

Samsung sells the T7 Touch in three capacities: 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. Pricing (the 1TB model we tested sells for $230) puts it above the previous T5, but teh T7 also delivers twice the performance. Rated at 1,050 MBps read and 1,000 MBps write speeds, the small portable SSD can deliver exceptional speed over its USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface. As it is with most portable SSDs, the T7 Touch lacks an endurance rating, but comes backed by a 3-year warranty.

Like all other recent portable drives, Samsung’s T7 Touch is bus powered, so plugging it into most USB ports should be enough for it to operate, but speeds will be limited depending on which kind of port you use--you'll need a USB 3.1/3.2 Gen 2 port to get the best performance. 

The drive comes pre-formatted as exFAT to be compatible with almost any computer you plug it into. In addition to PC and Apple computers, the company states the T7 Touch will even work with mobile phones, gaming consoles, TVs, and more.

The Samsung drive comes with Trim support and features S.M.A.R.T. data reporting, so you can monitor your SSD. Samsung also outfits the T7 with AES 256-bit hardware encryption to appeal to the business users who like an added security lock on their data. But the company doesn't stop there.

Samsung even built in a fingerprint scanner, which streamlines the encryption authentication process. No longer will you even have enter a password. Just like on many smartphones and high-end laptops, your fingerprint unlocks the device. Conveniently, the scanner works to unlock the device, regardless if the supporting software is installed on the host or not, making unlocking simple on any device. The device can also store up to four fingerprints if you use the device in a shared environment, too.

Software and Accessories

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Samsung ships the T7 Touch with two USB cables, one USB Type-C to Type-C and one USB Type-C to USB Type-A. They measure about 18 inches each, which is 6-9 inches longer than what most similar SSDs come with. That's a nice touch that should help you avoid dangling the drive from a front or rear port.

The company also included Samsung Portable SSD Software with the T7. It comes with packages for PC, Mac, and Android. This is used for updating the device and setting up the password encryption and fingerprint scanner and is also well designed and simple to use. In just moments of following the guided steps, we were able to get security set up.

A Closer Look

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The T7 Touch features an aluminum enclosure and comes in both black and silver color options. The border of the scanner also doubles as a status indicator light. Referred to as a Motion LED, the indicator light will turn on when connected to power to show the device is powered on, and turn off after 10 seconds of idle time. When transferring data, the light will rotate around the scanner. And, when locked, it will blink on and off.

Samsung’s T7 Touch is quite compact, measuring at 85 x 57 x 8.0mm and weighing just 58 grams. With its tiny size and weight, its also shock-resistant and can handle a decent drop without fail, up to 6 feet according to Samsung. That said, it lacks any IP rating for protection against dust or water.

Integrated into its design are multiple thermal management technologies. The first is the company’s Dynamic Thermal Guard technology, which helps to minimize heat generation to maintain optimal operating temperatures. Second is the use of an EPCM or Encapsulated Phase Change Material. This basically absorbs immediate excess heat from the components and releases it gradually to protect against overheating.

The drive features a new "Pablo" NAND flash controller. This DRAMless design manages two Samsung 92L TLC V-NAND flash packages on our 1TB sample. It interfaces with an ASMedia ASM2362 chip, which is a USB 3.2 Gen2-to-NVMe bridge chip for connection to the host.

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  • g-unit1111
    I like that external SSD manufacturers are including longer cables. That has been a huge complaint of mine is that these drives cost $200+ and they give you 5 cents worth of USB cables.
    Reply
  • michft
    Pros;
    Faster than the T5 for large writes.
    Thinner than the T5Cons;
    Slower than the T5 for 4k writes (scratch disk work)
    Longer than the T5
    Cables don't have the 10cent Velcro ties of the T5. Not road warrior friendly.
    16 character maximum Master Password
    Only AES256, (no custom options). Not FIPS 140-2 rated.
    No cut and paste password, thus no password manager passwords. Just try remembering any master password over n years. Which brings me to the next one.
    No easy password factory reset, reset requires putting hard to read characters (the PSID) into a hard to get piece of software (Australian Tech Support didn't know it existed)
    No Linux support for settings changes.
    Overall 2/5
    Reply
  • Alex Fotios
    Security may be problematic: https://blog.fotios.org/2020/10/samsung-t7-touch-1tb-external-ssd-drive.html
    Reply