The T7 Shield is Samsung’s new portable NVMe SSD that’s about as big as a playing card. Thankfully, it’s a lot more durable. It is designed for the “creative professionals and consumers on the go,” which means you can use it outside or stuff it in a bag without worrying about breaking it or compromising your data.
The Samsung T7 is aimed at content creators who travel and, for whatever reason, might end up a little wet or with a bit of dirt on their person. We’ve all been there. It’s rated to IP65 durability classifying it as dustproof and water resistant. Water resistant isn’t the same as waterproof, so if it gets dropped into a toilet, you’re running a 50/50 shot of it working, depending on how long it was submerged.
To test it, I left the SSD on my patio in the rain for a couple of hours since absent-mindedly leaving things outside feels more like a real-world situation I’d end up in. That’s a more common day-to-day scenario than editing videos in the desert, as some of these rugged drives’ marketing materials would have you think.
I could open, copy, and transfer files with no performance hit when I retrieved the drive. I also dropped the T7 Shield from standing desk height a few times until I was satisfied with the sound of the thud and used the drive again with no issues. It only weighs 98g, so even from a higher height, I don’t think you could do some serious damage to this thing unless you’re going to toss it out of a window a few floors up, which I am not doing. It’s a loaner.
I do really like the design of the T7 Shield. It doesn’t feel flimsy when you hold it in your hand or store it in a pocket despite still being pretty light. In fact, the aluminum body covered in a rubber casing has an almost all-weather resistant feel to it.
All that is great, but when it comes to external SSDs, especially NVMe-based ones, speed is the name of the game. And the T7 Shield does not disappoint. The T7 Shield has a sequential read-speed of 1021MB/s and a write-speed of 896MB/s, according to our benchmarking. More practical testing includes transferring nearly 8GBs worth of This Week In PC Gaming clips on and off the drive, which took about 6 seconds each go round.
So, if you’re working with larger video files, you should be alright.
T7 Shield specs
Connection: USB Type-C to Type-C, USB Type-C to Type-A
Capacity: 1TB (available up to 2TB)
Dimensions: 88 x 59 x 13mm
IP rating: IP65
Price: $160 (opens in new tab)
The T7 Shield is compatible with game consoles, too. Great if you’re looking for a nondescript way to expand your storage. I mostly used it to keep the games I use for benchmarking laptops and PCs. But loading games like Horizon Zero Dawn from the SSD didn’t present any issues, nor did I see any dips in performance after playing for about an hour.
Compared to other external drives, it’s just as fast, if not faster, than some of our favorite external NVMe drives. However, I doubt you’ll see anything that matches the durability and build quality of the T7 Shield.
The T7 Shield uses the Samsung Magician app to manage the drive, but all you can do is benchmark the SSD and add a password. All the neat data management features seem to be reserved for Samsung’s internal storage drives like the Samsung 980 Pro, as you won’t find them here with the T7 Shield.
The drive comes with a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a USB Type-C to Type-A cable and works on PC, Mac, consoles, and Android devices. The T7 is available in beige, black, and blue and is offered in either 1TB ($160) or 2TB ($290) capacities. The pricing for the 1TB isn’t bad, but almost $300 for a 2TB still feels too expensive even if it’s priced the same as others on the market.
It’s a great tiny little drive you never have to really worry about breaking during your day-to-day. While it may be overkill for some in this rugged form factor, if you are one of those content creators working in extreme conditions or just a drop-prone klutz like yours truly, it’s a safe bet.