The Samsung SSD T5 is a 'no-brainer' choice

Highs

  • Amazing size to (capacity+performance) ratio
  • Tough design, 256-bit encryption
  • Priced competitively

Lows

  • Nothing obvious

Rating and Price

  • Rating: 10/10

Samsung recently launched its latest portable USB 3.1 SSD drive called SSD T5. It comes more than a year after the SSD T3 (there isn’t a T4), which was praised by independent reviewers. The new SSD T5 builds on the same core strengths: tiny size, leading speed and massive 2TB of maximum capacity (our unit is the 2TB version).

The main difference between the two is the USB 3.1 (Gen 2, 10 Gbps) support (up from from USB 3.1, Gen 1, 5 Gbps) which maxes out at a theoretical 540 MB/sec instead of 450 MB/sec previously. We took the SSD T5 for a spin.

Industrial Design

The Samsung SSD T5 has a near-identical design as the SSD T3. There’s a -0.02” difference in width, but that is pretty much it. For practical purposes, the chassis is identical, and the new color scheme is the main differentiator. This means that the SSD T5 can also pack a maximum of 744.7 GB per cubic-inch, which makes it the densest portable USB drive on the market.

Chassis toughness

From top to bottom: T1, T3 and T5

With the SSD T5, Samsung has slightly changed how it presents the toughness of the chassis. Instead of using a G-rating (G for gravity), Samsung only says that the drive can survive a drop of about 2 Yards (2-meter) high.

Because the weight of the device is very small (51g), the amount of force generated by a fall from this height is unlikely to break the chassis or the internal components.

In general, we consider the durability of portable drives to be a huge deal, but unfortunately, it’s hard to have a standardized test, and the samples are costly, so there’s no practical way to get enough sampling to have statistically representative data. Only the respective OEMs can do that, plus user feedback in the ratings.

Fortunately, SSD drives are much more resilient than mechanical drives (HDD). At this point, I have not heard of someone I know breaking one of these SSD T-Series during a normal use, and after handling the T3 for a while, I would be confident that the chassis’ durability won’t be a problem for the vast majority of users. The drive is more likely to be lost (hence the encryption) than destroyed.

USB-C 3.1, Gen 2, 10Gbps

The retail box contains two USB cables rated for 10 Gbps. One is USB-C to USB-A while the other is USB-C to USB-C to cover the most common cases. This is a nice touch. Now is a good time to remind you that the quality of USB C cable matters! As speed increases, cables need proper shielding and wire thickness to operate properly.

Regular cables usually used for charging will almost certainly drop the maximum transfer rate back to USB 2.0 levels. You can try at home if you own one of these high-speed 450MBps+ drives. I lost the original cable, and after trying a ton of USB-C cables I had at the office (I have a lot of them…), and none could sustain even 5Gbps speeds.

Overall product rating: 10/10

Filed in Computers >Reviews. Read more about Samsung, Samsung Reviews and Storage.

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