If you are looking for a fast external storage, then you probably need to invest in a portable SSD. Not only can you transfer data faster, but you can actually work on heavy files right off the drive itself. Not to mention the compact design allowing you to carry it almost anywhere.
There are brands like Samsung, Western Digital and even Transcend already selling portable SSDs in the market. But there’s a new competitor jumping into this space and it could potentially be a hot seller.
Seagate just announced its new Fast SSD portfolio in India which is going to launch during the Amazon Prime Day sale starting 16 July. Announced back at CES, the drive is coming in 250GB and 500GB flavours. PCMag India has managed to get exclusive hands-on the device to put it through its paces. Now for the review I have compared Seagate’s new product to the Samsung T5portable SSD which is currently the best external SSD drive to buy.
The drive definitely grabs attention thanks to its sleek and premium design. Instead of going for an rectangular block, Seagate has gone for squarish design with rounded corners. There’s an aluminum plate on the top with the company moniker, which sits on a hard plastic shell.
The combination of the two material gives it rigidity while maintaining the drive’s dual-tone personality. There is a single USB Type-C port on one of the edges along with an LED indicator.
Compared to the Samsung T5, Seagate’s drive is bigger in size measuring at 3.70×3.11×0.35 but it feels almost the same in terms of weight. Having said that, Samsung’s T5 somehow felt a bit fragile to me as it comes in a simple aluminum case. Seagate has made the right decision in fusing metal and plastic. Not only does it feel more solid, the design complements my XPS 13, and should go well with a MacBook or any metal-clad notebook in silver finish.
Like most USB Type-C based external drives, this one also comes with a pair of data transfer cables, a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to USB-A.
Seagate claims that its new portable SSD can hit up to 540MB/s read and 400MB/s write speeds which is a bold claim. The reason I say that is because the Samsung T5, which launched earlier this year, came with similar speeds thanks to an updated USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard. Seagate on the other hand is achieving these speeds with USB 3.0.
The drive is also compatible with Windows and Mac devices.
Now obviously I was intrigued and the first thing I did was, well copy a large file. I copied a 2.11GB video file from my XPS 13 using a USB Type-C to Type-C connection. The file managed to copy in about 5-seconds with peaks speeds of 318MB/s. Along with that I ran Crystal Disk Mark 6.0 and ATTO Disk Benchmark to see if the drive can actually reach is claimed speeds.
As you can see, on a Type-C to Type-C connection, Seagate’s new Fast SSD went beyond the claimed speeds reaching 553.3MB/s read and 494.3MB/s write speeds on CrystalDiskMark. On a USB Type-C to Type-A connection, these speeds went down to 437.2MB/s and 422.5MB/s, which again is not bad at all. Moving to ATTO, the results showed maximum read speeds over 550MB/s and write speeds of over 500MB/s when using a Type-C to Type-C connection.
This clearly makes the drive as fast and in some cases faster than the Samsung T5, which is currently the fastest portable SSD on the market.
With that, Seagate is bundling a software that lets you make mirror of your files along with a feature to assign a folder for automatic syncing. Not that I used it, but it’s a convenient add-on to have. The company is also offering 2 months of free Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan worth $20 (Rs 1,400 approx) bundled with the drive.
Samsung has finally met its match. While i thought competitors would take time to catch up with the T5, here we have a fine product product that easily pushes the limit. Seagate has done a splendid job here. While the overall design is bigger than the competition, I somehow like the company’s different approach. Its rugged, shockproof and can easily fit in the smallest of pockets like most portable SSDs.
It all comes down to the pricing. Since the drive is launching during the Amazon Prime Day sale, Seagate is going to sell its new Fast SSD at Rs 8,990 for the 250GB variant and Rs 10,990 for the 500GB variant. The T5 is currently selling at Rs 9,290 on Amazon for the 250GB variant and Rs 13,999 for the 500GB variant.
But there is a catch. Seagate has confirmed that the pricing will only be applicable for an exclusive period of on month after which the pricing will go up to Rs 9,900 and Rs 13,990 respectively. This puts it in the same league as the T5. With that Samsung also offers 1TB and 2TB versions of the T5 SSD, which don’t come cheap but give more option to consumers.
So, long story short, if you are planning to buy a portable SSD, and care about value for money, get the Seagate during the Amazon offer. If you miss the deadline, it is still a very promising offer that you shouldn’t miss.