An external SSD is an ideal device for anyone who regularly wants to carry large amounts of data with them, transfer them between computers, or filmmakers who want to edit their recordings smoothly without waiting for often slow SD card readers. With the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield, Samsung is releasing a new type that also focuses on physically protecting your data against water, dust and drops. How does it compare to the competition?
Samsung T7 Shield
Price €169.99 (1TB), €319.99 (2TB)
Colors Beige, blue or black
protocol USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gigabit)
Maximum throughput 1000MB/s write, 1050MB/s read
encryption AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Connection USB-C (USB-C and USB-A cables included)
Dimensions 88 x 59 x 13mm
Weight 98 grams
Water resistance IP65
8 Score 80
- Water, dust and drop resistant
- Stable Sequential Performance
- Attractive appearance
- Disappointing performance in traces
- Heavier than regular T7
Samsung has been one of the most popular options when it comes to external SSDs for years. Years ago there was the Portable SSD T5 and about two years ago they released the Portable SSD T7. This compact, chic SSD performed well, looked good, and took advantage of the fact that Samsung was one of the few manufacturers to be able to add a decent software package, plus support for hardware-based encryption† Ideal if you don’t want your data to end up in the hands of others if you leave the SSD lying around somewhere. No small risk with compact cabinets that weigh only tens of grams.
A step further
With the T7 Shield, Samsung continues to build on the T7 series on that excellent basis, with the main adjustment now being the IP65 certified housing. Unlike most external SSDs, you can use these in all weathers, ideal if you’re filming outside. But such a certification is also nice for home use: don’t worry if a drink goes over it. Even dropping it into water shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you let it dry thoroughly before using it.
You can also drop it from a few meters, so the physical protection is fine. For this, the simple metal chassis had to make way for a kind of rubber layer, although this also looks good and does not immediately show fingerprints. A nice bonus are the three colorways: blue and cream, in addition to a more traditional black housing. However, the T7 Shield is a lot thicker, 13 instead of 8 millimeters. And also heavier: 98 grams compared to 57 grams of the original.
Stagnation means decline
Part of that higher weight is due to the better cooling. As a result, the T7 Shield is less subject to thermal throttling; you can write it non-stop until it is full with the full sequential write speed of approximately 1000 MB/s, more than enough for high-quality movie recordings.
Unfortunately, overall performance has barely improved over the original T7. For example, in the important PC Mark 10 Suite, a combination of intensive trace benchmarks from the real world, it achieves a score of 129 MB/s, compared to 119 MB/s of the original T7. Some more recent competitors simply do better: Crucials X8 (182 MB/s), SanDisk Extreme Pro (206 MB/s), and the Seagate Firecuda SSD (205 MB/s), for example. The lack of real progress hurts the T7 Shield in 2022, for active work from the SSD there are simply better options.
If you’re looking for an external SSD that’s mostly fast, or one that offers a good price-per-Terabyte ratio, there are better options than the T7 Shield. It’s a shame that Samsung didn’t take the opportunity to significantly improve the overall performance. With the T7 Shield, however, Samsung does well with other nice things: water, dust and drop resistance, hardware encryption, and stable sequential performance without thermal throttling. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.