Asus’s incredibly tough TUF external SSD is one of the best rugged drives I’ve seen this year - and it costs less than you think

Asus TUF AS1000
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus recently launched the AS1000, from its TUF range of gaming-oriented products. However, this versatile IP68-rated external SSD will be useful for more than just gamers; its main features, its toughness and durability, will benefit plenty of business verticals: from creatives to field workers and more.

The drive is essentially a big slab of machined aluminum-alloy chassis, weighing 157g, that houses an internal SSD with a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×1 connection so speeds up to 10Gbps (Asus did not provide with actual sequential or random read/write speeds); note that the connector is not covered to prevent water ingress if submerged. Asus engineers have subjected the AS1000 to a battery of durability tests, including the US-military-grade MIL-STD-810H drop test and IP68 water-and-dust-resistance tests. 

Devices were dropped from various heights, submerged in water, and exposed to dust and dirt to ensure toughness, making the TUF Gaming AS1000 (its full name) capable of withstanding accidental bumps, knocks, and spills.

You can easily open the enclosure to replace the existing SSD by removing a few screws. Other notable features include a ribbed surface to include the drive handling and a hole to securely attach a carabiner. An internal thermal pad also helps to dissipate heat more effectively, reducing the possibility of throttling (cutting down performance when it gets too hot) and improving the lifespan of the product,.

There’s only one model in this range, a 1TB one, and it is on sale in the UK for just under £100, which is slightly more than what we’d expect from a portable rugged SSD with this capacity but wholly justified given its recency. Surprisingly, you can also purchase it as a bare enclosure, which may turn out to be a better deal if you want to bring your own SSD to the party. We don’t know the price yet.

The AS1000 also comes with a free backup software, the NTI Backup Now EZ 7.5 which costs $35.99 and allows you to back the drive to a variety of popular cloud storage providers: OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and more. It doesn't however have the features that would make it one of the best secure drives. It lacks basic encryption for example.

Few competitors

I just wished that Asus provided a longer warranty (currently standing at one year), more capacities (both bigger and smaller) and a better software bundle. Seagate for example gives one year Mylio photo storage service and 3-month Adobe Creative Cloud subscription with some of its portable SSD.

There are not many competitors to the AS1000 in this price range with the only notable branded competitors being the Samsung T7, the Adata SE800, LaCie Rugged SSD, the Sabrent Rocket Nano and the Sandisk Portable SSD.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.