Samsung Portable T1 SSD review

The best portable hard drive. Period.


Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.


Samsung claims that the performance of their T1 SSD drives are capable of superfast read-write speeds of up to 450 MB/s via their USB 3.0 connection (the T1 is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0).

However, according to our benchmarks, the T1 didn't reach 450 MB/s. The ATTO Disk Benchmark test put most read and write rates for this disk at 250 MB/s on a USB 3.0 enabled port. But, it also depends on the size of the file. For smaller files you don't see much of a speed increase, which makes sense. Read and Write speeds do increase as the file gets bigger but we did not see anything get close to 300 MB/s.

The speeds of the Samsung T1 using the USB 2.0 interface were dismal in comparison but, to be fair, that makes sense. The highest Read and Write speeds on USB 2.0 were only at 30 MB/s using the ATTO Disk Benchmark tool. So, if you're a user with a computer that only has USB 2.0 and are looking for speed, then you may want to hold off on the Samsung T1. But, PCMark 8 gave the Samsung T1 a score of 4717.

Although our benchmarks did not hit Samsung's advertised 450 MB/s that doesn't mean the Samsung T1 is not a wonderful portable device. My computer has some serious hard drive storage and, in it, includes some older SSD drives that I use for video games like Battlefield 4. I transferred my installation folder onto the external Samsung T1 drive and it ran unbelievably smooth for something that is an external hard drive. Running Battlefield 4 was faster than running it on some more traditional hard drives and I did not notice a huge difference between running it on my internally connected SSD drives.

As a power user I'm always in need of a drive to install an operating system, huge data transfers, or just a quick file transfer - the Samsung T1 SSD is just perfect for these use cases. It has the size, the speed, and the ease that allows itself to be ahead of other hard drives on the market.

Not only that but the Samsung T1 SSD drive is a wonderful tool for anyone who hates lugging technology around with them. The T1 is so light that no reasonable person can call it cumbersome.

The benchmarks are as follows:

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark: 252 MB/s on USB 3.0, 30 MB/s on USB 2.0
  • PCMark 8 rating: 4717

Samsung Portable SSD T1 review

We liked

The T1 is sleek, light, and versatile. It has a straightforward set-up, which was incredibly easy to navigate. Simplicity is true heaven.

We disliked

The benchmark results of the Samsung T1 were disappointing. I was hoping for a 450 MB/s transfer rate, or at least something in the 300-350 MB/s range but was unable to achieve it with the computer used for this test. However, as stated above, 250 MB/s is not an awful speed, and it is more than applicable for practical use cases.


The Samsung T1 is amazing on all levels, however, its design is really separates it from any other portable hard drive on the market. As someone who hates lugging around big drives for multifaceted reasons, the T1 is heaven-sent. Although the device didn't run as fast as advertised, the 250 MB/s rate I clocked it at is not a bad speed on a USB 3.0 port. There's no such thing as the perfect technology, but the Samsung T1 comes pretty darn close.

The Samsung T1 is a great device that we recommend for a lot of different needs: speed, portability, physical size, capacity, or a device that provides 256-encryption.