The 850 EVO is one of the smallest SSDs we've encountered, so it's only fitting that Samsung has squeezed the drive into an external enclosure with a USB 3.0 interface. The Portable SSD T1, as it's called, weighs less than an ounce and is just 0.36" thick. Its 2.8" x 2.1" footprint is smaller than a standard business card, yet the drive packs up to a terabyte of storage.
Inside, the T1 has the same eight-channel controller and 3D V-NAND as the 850 EVO. And, like that drive, its TLC main storage is backed by an SLC TurboWrite cache. Samsung says performance is bottlenecked by the USB interface, which caps seqeuntial speeds at 450MB/s. Random I/O performance is specced at 8,000 IOps for reads and 21,000 IOps for writes.
Security is an important consideration for external storage, making the drive's 256-bit encryption particularly appealing. The T1 is loaded with Samsung software that can protect the contents with a password.
Samsung covers the portable SSD with a three-year warranty. Expect to see the drive on sale in mid-January priced at $179.99 for 250GB, $299.99 for 500GB, and $599.99 for 1TB. That's a fair bit more than the going rate for the 850 EVO, but it's more in-line with pricing for other USB SSDs.
In related news, Samsung says an M.2 version of the 850 EVO is coming soon. That drive will have a Serial ATA interface rather than PCIe hotness.
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