Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield at a glance:
- £134.79 (1TB), £250.99 (2TB), £395.49 (4TB)
- USB 3.2 Gen2 NVMe SSD
- Up to 1000MB/sec write, 1050 MB/sec read
- 88 x 59 x 13mm, 98g
- 1TB or 2TB capacity
- 4TB capacity in black
Portable SSDs have now replaced conventional hard drives as the medium of choice for working with image or video files on the move. The reasons are simple: SSDs are far smaller, considerably faster, and much more robust. Certain cameras and external video recorders can even save files directly to SSD.
Samsung’s T-series SSDs have long been highly regarded for their speed and reliability. Latest in the line is the T7 Shield. This is essentially a variant of the existing T7 SSD, but with its aluminium shell covered in a smart-looking ridged rubberised armour for increased robustness. As a result, the firm claims it’s now shockproof against a fall from 3 metres onto a hard surface, compared to 2m before. That could count as welcome extra protection for your valuable files.
Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield: Key Features
- Tough: Along with IP65 dust and water-resistance, this portable SSD is rated to be drop-proof to 3m
- Mobile-friendly: The T7 Shield adheres to the USB power specification, promising trouble-free use with mobile devices
- Colours: The Samsung T7 Shield comes in a choice of three colours: blue, black or beige
- Cables: Samsung supplies two cables with a USB-A and USB-C connectors. Arguably this isn’t as convenient (or environmentally aware) as a USB-C cable with a USB-A adapter
Otherwise, Samsung’s spec sheet reveals that the T7 Shield promises the same performance as the standard T7. By using NVMe technology, it’s rated for sequential write speeds up to 1000MB/sec, and read speeds up to 1050 MB/sec. That’s about twice as fast as SATA-based SSDs, and nearly ten times as fast as portable hard drives.
In principle, such speeds are quick enough for recording 8K or even 12K video. This may be beyond what most photographers need at present, but it’s within the scope of cutting-edge video cameras like the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K.
The drive also offers optional password protection for your files using AES 256-bit hardware encryption, which requires Samsung’s accompanying apps. Installers for Mac and Windows PCs are included on the device itself, while the Android app must be downloaded from the Google Play store.
I found this function worked as expected on Windows and Android devices (I was unable to test on MacOS). The apps are simple and intuitive to use, and admirably consistent between platforms. However, if you do enable password protection, you won’t be able to access the drive from iOS devices, or use it to record video from external recorders.
In terms of speed, it’s certainly a snappy performer. Benchmarked using CrystalDiskMark on my Dell XPS 15 running Windows 11, the 2TB model I had for review registered a sequential read speed of 988MB/sec, and a sequential write speed of 550MB/sec. This may not be as fast as specified, but such tests are very machine dependent. Notably, it’s twice as fast as older SATA-based SSDs I tested at the same time.
The Samsung Portable SSD T7 family
The Samsung T7 Shield costs £134.79 (1TB), £250.99 (2TB), or £395.49 (4TB). In comparison, Samsung’s standard Portable SSD T7 costs around £120 for 1TB, and £218 for 2TB. It’s also slimmer and lighter than the T7 Shield, at 85 x 57 x 8mm and 58g, and comes in red, blue or grey.
The firm also offers the T7 Touch, which includes a fingerprint reader for additional biometric security. Available in black or grey, it shares the same dimensions as the standard T7 and costs around £135 for 1TB, or £251 for 2TB.
Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield: Our Verdict
Samsung’s T7 Shield portable SSD is small, fast and tough, making it a good choice for working in the field. However, if you’re only planning on using the drive indoors, the standard T7 will do essentially the same job for a lower price.