60 seconds rating
The Samsung T7 Shield is an external robust SSD and is the third member of the T7 family, after the T7 and the T7 Touch launched in 2020; a long pause. The latter left a lasting impression on us as it brought with it a feature never available at this price: a fingerprint reader. The T7 Shield does the opposite; it brings a fairly common feature for a higher price without bothering with anything else. Yes, it’s a bit more robust and yes, the performance is decent without being exceptional. Ditto for the 3-year warranty. Aside from the brand behind it, there aren’t many compelling reasons why you should buy the T7 Shield when there are a plethora of viable alternatives out there.
Samsung T7 Shield: Pricing and Availability
The T7 shield is available in black, blue and beige and in 1TB and 2TB capacities for $159.99 (£134.79 / approximately AU$224) and $289.99 (£250.99 / approximately AU$406) respectively ; there are no 500GB or 4TB models.
Samsung T7 shield: design
Following in the footsteps of the T5, the T7 and the T7 Touch, the T7 Shield adopts the same form factor as its predecessors, held to an all-metal aluminum housing (great for conductivity) and covered in rubber for toughness. Samsung’s latest external SSD has an IP65 rating (instead of an IP68) and can withstand drops of up to 3 meters. At less than 100g and measuring 88 x 59 x 13mm, it is very portable like its ancestors and retains the same overall shape.
Other than the Type-C connector (USB 3.2 Gen2), there’s hardly anything worth mentioning.
Samsung T7 shield: hardware
We didn’t pry open the T7 shield, but a spokesperson for the brand confirmed that
the T7 Shield uses the same core components (NAND and controller) as the T7 and T7 Touch, which launched nearly 18 months ago. That means the likely use of a 92-layer TLC V-NAND of the fifth generation (not the sixth generation, 136-layer)† Samsung has confirmed that the T7 Shield uses the sixth-generation Samsung V-NAND, 128-layer with a DRAMless NVMe controller from Samsung. So in terms of architecture, T7 Shield has better than T7.
The T7 Shield package includes two cables, one with a Type-A connector and the other with a Type-C connector. With the latter, the external SSD can be easily connected to a mobile device such as a tablet or a smartphone.
Samsung T7 Shield: Performance
Here’s how the Samsung T7 Shield performed in our series of benchmark tests:
CrystalDiskMark: 970 MBps (read); 944MBps (write)
Atto: 928 MBps (read, 256 MB); 881 MBps (write, 256 MB)
IF SSD: 864 MBps (seq read); 833MBps (seq write)
AJA: 827 MBps (read); 812Mbps (write)
Bundled with the T7 Shield are two software applications: Magician, an SSD storage utility, which helps keep the device in shape, and Portable SSD, which allows the user to view the contents of the portable SSD† Could these two be combined? Absolute. Since Samsung bundles Microsoft OneDrive with all its recent Galaxy smartphoneswe would like to see such a cloud storage agreement for the T7 Shield to enable data backup in the cloud.
Samsung claims that the T7 Shield can reach 1.05GBps and 1GBps respectively at read and write speeds, which is in line with the T7 Touch. In our synthetic benchmark tests, read speeds ranged from 827 to 970 MBps, while write speeds ranged from 812 to 944 MBps. In our real 10GB file transfer, it averaged 477.3MBps, which is about 20% slower than the Kingston XS2000.
Should I buy the Samsung T7 Shield?
The Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD matches the T7 Shield when it comes to performance and capacity. It completely undercuts it when it comes to sheer value for money. It’s considerably larger and the flashy orange color might not be to everyone’s taste, but we like the carabiner and the fact that there’s a 4TB model too.
The SE800 by Adata is one of the most underrated external SSDs out there. It’s a fully waterproof model (IP68 vs. IP65 for the T7 Shield) and undercuts all its rivals when it comes to value for money with a price that routinely flirts with $100 for its 1TB. It’s no slouch either with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 connector; the only weakness is the lack of large capacities (no 2TB or 4TB).
The Kingston XS2000 is IP55 rated but comes with a longer warranty, a cheaper price tag and is much faster than the T7 Shield with the added benefit of getting a speed boost if you have a compatible USB3.2 Gen2x2 system.
First reviewed April 2022