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Samsung Portable SSD T9 4TB review: A fast, rugged and expensive portable drive

Samsung Portable SSD T9 4TB review: A fast, rugged and expensive portable drive

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks putting the Samsung Portable SSD T9 4TB through its paces – it’s become an indispensable gadget with my camera when covering events. And I think many content creators will feel the same.

The design of the T9, slightly larger and heavier than its predecessor, the T7, features a robust build. Measuring 88 x 60 x 14mm and weighing 122g, it sports a black, rubberised frame with a textured wave pattern. This not only enhances its grip but also makes it almost drop-proof, as it protects the SSD inside.

Specifications
Interface USB-C
Capacity Options 1TB2TB4TB (Tested)
Bus Type PCI Express 3.0 x4
NVMe Support Yes
Sequential Read Speed Up to 2000MB/s
Sequential Write Speed Up to 1950MB/s (1TB and 2TB)Up to 2000MB/s (4TB)
Warranty Length 5 Years

Functionality-wise, the T9 offers a USB-C port that officially supports USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interface, hinting at potential compatibility with USB4 and Thunderbolt, though these aren't officially listed. This advanced connectivity feature, however, might not be fully utilisable with all laptops, as few currently support this interface natively. The drive comes with USB-C-to-USB-C and USB-C-to-USB-A cables, and is preformatted in the exFAT file format, making it interchangeable for use between Windows, Mac, and Android devices.

Storage options are flexible, with the T9 available in up to 4TB capacity (my review unit). This range of options is increasingly common among external SSDs, as seen with the Crucial X9 Pro and Kingston XS2000. Notably, the cost per gigabyte also becomes more economical with higher capacities, which is unusual in the storage market.

Despite lacking an official ingress protection rating, the T9 boasts a degree of ruggedness, as I mentioned earlier. Its rubberised exterior provides shock resistance for drops up to 9.8 feet, a feature that adds an extra layer of durability.

On the security front, the T9 is equipped with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption. This is complemented by the excellent Samsung Magician utility suite, a comprehensive software package for monitoring drive health, optimising performance, and ensuring data security. The latest update, version 8.0, consolidates various Samsung software features, enhancing its utility across different operating systems. In short, it’s quite possibly the best storage utility software around.

My testing of the T9 involved a series of benchmarks to evaluate its performance. These tests spanned from traditional throughput measures to more practical everyday tasks simulations. While the drive's score of 1,979 and 1,901 on Crystal DiskMark’s Sequential Read and Sequential Write respectively was slightly below its rated speeds, these results are well within the margin of error. However, it demonstrated exceptional speeds in my 4GB Test Folder test, where it clocked just slightly over seven seconds to transfer the entire folder from our test rig (Intel 12th Gen Core i9-12900K with a Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Xtreme motherboard).

The Samsung Portable SSD T9 starts from S$199 for the 1TB and up to S$599 for the 4TB version that I tested. While it’s not the most affordable external SSD storage, it offers a compelling blend of performance, capacity, and durability. Its robust software suite and secure encryption capabilities add significant value, which I think is important considering the rise of cybercrimes. particularly for users who require high-speed data transfers across different operating systems. In short, you really can’t go wrong with the T9 – the 5-year warranty by Samsung doesn’t hurt either.

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