Samsung T7 Touch review: One smart-looking SSD

The diminutive dimensions and biometric scanner make the T7 Touch ideal for life on the road

IT Pro Recommended
A photograph of the Samsung T7 Touch
Price
£53 exc VAT (500GB)
  • Smart biometric access
  • Reasonably good value
  • Highly portable
  • Underwhelming random access performance

External storage drives aren’t necessarily something you’d think of when accessorising an outfit, but they can occasionally be very smart-looking indeed. With its smart metallic finish and rounded edges, for example, the Samsung T7 Touch looks rather like a business-card holder. In fact, it’s roughly the same size, with a footprint of 57 x 85mm, and it weighs a mere 58g without the cable. That makes it one of the most deliciously portable drives we’ve seen recently – only the Seagate One Touch is more compact.

It has a neat party trick, too. The little square on the front isn’t just ornamentation; as the name hints, it’s a biometric scanner. With the supplied software you can lock the entire drive using hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption, so it will reveal its contents only once you’ve authenticated with a fingerprint. If you want to share the drive with others, you can register up to four prints or set a password instead.

The only other external feature is a USB-C connector at one end. This is of the Gen2 variant, supporting 10Gbits/sec connections; thoughtfully, the manufacturer includes two cables in the box, so you can plug the drive directly into a corresponding Type-C socket or a full-sized USB-A port.

Samsung claims that a USB 3 Gen2 connection allows the T7 Touch to achieve sequential read speeds of up to 1,050MB/sec and write speeds of 1,000MB/sec. We measured a read rate of 912MB/sec – a little short of the promised performance, but not bad for this type of drive. Write speeds were rather lower, but well beyond the capabilities of a 5Gbits/sec Gen1 connection, and indeed faster than any SATA drive.

Notably, Samsung doesn’t shout about random-access performance, and there’s probably a reason for that. In AS SSD’s multithreaded read and write tests, the T7 Touch lagged substantially behind rival SSDs. Consequently, it achieved a comparatively low rating in the PCMark data drive test, scoring just 856 compared to the 1,788 figure achieved by the SanDisk Extreme Pro.

While that’s a disappointment, it shouldn’t rule the T7 Touch out of contention. It’s absolutely fine for personal use and the price isn’t bad, either – the 500GB model we tested works out to 14p/GB, albeit the 1TB model is a little pricier at £160, equivalent to 17p/GB.

Factor in the beautifully dinky design and the fingerprint reader and it’s a tempting choice for anyone who is seeking a secure travelling companion, or an upgrade for your home office that won’t eat up precious desk space. It’s not the fastest external drive around, but it’s one of the most likeable.

Samsung T7 Touch specifications

Capacity

500GB

Cost Per Gigabyte

14p

Interface

USB 3 (10Gbits/sec)

Claimed Read

1,050MB/sec

Claimed Write

1,000MB/sec

Warranty

3yr

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