Samsung T7 Shield—One of the Best Portable SSDs Made Rugged

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It’s safe to say that Samsung’s T-series SSDs are the best around. Their blend of performance, size, and price can’t be matched. The T7 is the current gen, but Samsung is doing great work in expanding the functionality of the series. Most recently the brand ruggedized it, resulting in the T7 Shield

Samsung 2TB T7 Shield Portable SSD

Samsung 2TB T7 Shield Portable SSD

Meant to handle the rigors of adventurers, the T7 Shield’s tough design is also beneficial to those of us whose biggest trek is our commute to work or school. After all, the last thing you want is an accidental drop or a spilled cup of coffee destroying your photos or a paper due the next day.

PERKS

+ Lightweight, rugged design
+ 1,050/1,000 MB/s read/write speeds
+ USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C connection
+ Improved sustained performance

DRAWBACKS

- Shape no longer works with existing T5/T7 mounting accessories 
- Faster I/O options are available 

How Tough is the T7’s Shield? 

A fortunate aspect of rugged drives is that a lot of the tests are somewhat standardized at this point. This means we get a lot of relatively reliable figures. Here’s the rundown: 

  • IP65 water and dust resistance

  • Shock resistant to 9.8' drops

While these aren’t groundbreaking specs for a rugged SSD, they are great for everyday drops and spills, and the drive feels durable in the hand. After a few test drops in my office and onto hardwood floors at home, the T7 Shield doesn’t have a scratch. The design is great; I appreciate how the rubber wraps around and provides an additional bumper on the edges. I feel very confident that this drive will hold up for a long while.

  

However, a drawback to the Shield would be if you are already using T5/T7 drives in a camera rig with a dedicated mount—the Shield models will not fit. Given its more durable exterior, that’s to be expected. Even so, the Shield remains appealing since its ruggedness would protect it against the bumps that are likely to happen on a film set. 

Core Drive Specs 

Inside that rubberized shell is essentially a normal T7 SSD. If you are familiar with the standard version, the Shield’s specs are identical and performance should match. 

Samsung ratings put the read/write speeds at 1,050/1,000 MB/s. In my testing with Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app, I was getting readings in the low 900s very consistently. I didn’t see any real variation between the 1TB, 2TB and the 4TB versions, either. The only thing that could make the Shield better would be if Samsung went with a Thunderbolt™ connection. I suspect the internal memory could handle faster speeds if given a port that was greater than USB 3.2 Gen 2’s 10 Gb/s. 

Still, this is plenty fast for most applications. Handling large files, photos, or videos, and even editing directly from the drive are not issues; working with 8K footage from an a1 in DaVinci Resolve was smooth. 

During longer editing sessions, older drives tended to throttle due to the heat generated in the small enclosures. Samsung improved this with its Dynamic Thermal Guard, which should keep performance at or near top speeds, even after running for extended periods. It seems to work well. I kept the Shield plugged in and running for a while, lightly editing the 8K footage I mentioned earlier. 

As for size and weight, the T7 Shield is so small and light that it can go into most kits without even being felt. The Shield weighs less than 3.5 oz and measures 2.3 x 3.5 x 0.5". A side effect of the rugged exterior, this is almost twice as heavy as the standard T7, but it’s still not much weight at all. 

Overall 

The most interesting thing about the T7 Shield is the price. It doesn’t come at too steep of a premium compared to the base T7. Most people should choose the more rugged T7 Shield. Better protection for your storage is always a good investment. 

However, you might want to go with the base T7 if you are working with camera rigs that already support its slimmer shape, or if you are carrying several drives and want to keep a smaller, lighter kit. 

This is another easy win for Samsung storage and keeps the company well positioned in the market. It is available in 1TB, 2TB and the 4TB versions in black, blue, and beige. 

Ready to upgrade to the T7 Shield? Let us know in the Comments section, below. 

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