With most laptops now embracing solid state drives rather than spinning hard disks, external storage is following suit.
The benefits are identical: SSD technology is ridiculously faster than mechanical drives, as well as being more compact and more robust. (Yes, it’s also more expensive, although SSD prices continue to fall.)
Samsung’s T-series of portable solid state drives has steadily become a favourite objet d’tech of road warriors by bridging the gap between the speed of a USB flash drive and the capacity of a portable hard drive, and there’s every reason the latest T7 Touch will continue that trend.
The T7 Touch retains the slim pocket-friendly size of its T1, T3 and T5 predecessors (for some reason, Samsung skips even numbers in the Tx family), shaving off a little around the waist but growing a little bit longer to accommodate a fingerprint reader.
Bundled software lets you program this to recognise up to four fingerprints – useful for sharing the drive with others in your team – in order to unlock the 256-bit hardware encryption and access the drive, with the scanner responding quickly to a gentle swipe of your finger.
You can also settle for simpler password-only protection – the same as available on the T5 – or, if you’re trusting or just a bit lazy, skip the security and leave the drive unlocked. Regardless, a bright blue LED around the fingerprint scanner lights up and pulses when the T7 Touch is in use.
Through its USB-C port, and either of the supplied cables with a USB-C or USB-A plug, the T7 Touch hooks up to Windows and Mac systems as well as Android smartphones and tablets.
The slim elongated case makes the T7 Touch look faster than the T5, and what’s inside lives up to that promise. The tech specs set the T7 Touch up as being twice as zippy as the T5, and our real-world tests bore that out.
Transferring a 10GB archive between a MacBook Pro to the T5 took just over 20 seconds; the T7 Touch swatted that task away in ten seconds. A 15GB folder of mixed high-res images made the PC-to-SSD trip in 25 seconds on the T7 Touch, compared to 45 seconds on the T5.
Wrap all this up in a shock-proof and drop-resistant aluminium case (your choice of silver or black) and the T7’s unique combination of speed and capacity make it a superb choice for security-minded professionals.
The Samsung T7 Touch is now on sale in Australia at $279 for 500GB, $439 for 1TB and $849 for 2TB (those are official RRPs, although retailers are already taking a slice off the sticker).
While Samsung has announced a more affordable non-touch model of the T7 for mid-year release, Executive Traveller understands there are currently no plans to bring this to the Australian market.
If the fingerprint security and extra speed of the T7 Touch aren’t a deal-breaker, the T5 remains available at more palatable pricing: look for the 250GB model at $100, 500GB close to $150, 1TB around $250 and 2TB nearer to $500.