Samsung M3 Portable 4TB review

Meet a record breaking hard disk drive…

Samsung M3 Portable 4TB
Editor's Choice
Samsung M3 Portable 4TB

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At just under £140 (about $220, or AU$300) from MobyMemory, this drive is surprisingly affordable, managing to offer one of the cheapest cost per TB of this category.

The Toshiba 2TB Canvio Basics currently runs at a £30 per TB price point (Amazon) while the M3 Portable hits £35 per TB, making it even cheaper than the category's former capacity champion, the Toshiba 3TB Canvio Basics we reviewed a few weeks ago, which is currently available from £126 from Amazon (about $200, or AU$270).

We liked

The Samsung M3 Portable is a flagship device which is affordable, and relatively fast despite using SMR, plus it has enough storage capacity to fit a billion songs (or MP3 tracks). We couldn't fault its design and it comes with an adequate software package.

We disliked

There's hardly anything to dislike about this drive. Once you understand the way SMR works, you can't really criticise the poor performance for random writes.

Final verdict

The Samsung M3 Portable is a fantastic product despite its slightly boring appearance. Seagate has keenly priced this SMR-capable drive and its sheer value for money should make it popular amongst those craving for storage.

Seagate's own Backup Plus 4TB USB 3.0 drive might be its only real competitor. Since they probably share the same drive, it is likely that they will perform similarly. That drive is slightly more expensive but comes with a useful Mobile Backup App and two years' subscription to OneDrive cloud-based storage with 200GB. That's worth £4 a month or £96 (about $150, or AU$200) over the duration of the subscription.

Note that this drive is also available as the P3 Portable with a slightly different form factor. This sample was provided by Samsung and as always (and especially with drives of this capacity), I would strongly urge you to back up your hard disk drive.

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.