Within the market for external hard drives, the catalog is considerable. Some brands offer large capacities, others offer very small disks, others encryption and content protection, and so on. In the case of Samsung with its 7T Touch manage to offer capacity, speed, protection and a truly amazing size.
Design: Elegant and sober
The Samsung T7 Touch is the minimum expression of an external disk. Made of slightly textured black metal and in a semi-gloss finish, this album stands out precisely for its ability to not attract attention. Among its small size and with a weight of 58 grams it is one of the most elegant options that we can find. With its eight millimeters thick and a surface of 85 x 57 it is really the minimum expression of a disc, something that also makes it resistant, according to the brand, to falls of up to two meters.
Samsung offers the T7 in three sizes: 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. In my tests, performed on the 500GB version, the SSD has reached read and write speeds of about 890 MB / s. More than considerable speeds that rival the internal storage of a 15-inch MacBook Pro from late 2016.
Functionality: Encryption or compatibility
The main point of interest of this hard drive is the ability to lock it with a fingerprint. Thanks to this system the content of the unit is stored encrypted by hardware using AES 256.
Up to this point in the analysis, the truth is that the T7 is a great hard drive and it continues to be so, but due to its design we have to make an important decision: if we use the disk with encryption we can only connect it to our Mac.
The truth is that I was unpleasantly surprised that the entire disk access mechanism falls on our Mac. Why? Because it means that we will not be able to connect this hard drive to any other device to access your data.
To use fingerprint unlocking we must install a specific tool on our Mac that is saved on the disk. After restarting the computer, when plugging in the external drive again, we must run the application that has been installed and accept the terms and conditions that include that collect the IP address of our computer, the version of the operating system and, in my opinion, much more information than I would like to collect a hard drive focused on privacy and security.
Obviously we can follow this process on other computers we own, but for a quick exchange of files with another person or for use on a shared computer things are complicated. Also, as if that weren’t enough, the required application requires a kernel extension on the Mac that is not supported by macOS Big Sur, something that may be fixed in an update, but, if we plan to update this September, it is something to keep more than in mind.
On the other hand, let’s be clear about something: using encryption means not being able to use the disk on our iPad. For me, who likes to access the files on my hard drive when and how I need it, this limitation is very relevant.
What if I don’t use encryption? Sure, that’s the option I’d use if I had to use a T7 Touch: disable encryption entirely. If we agree that we are disabling a functionality that is considered the “star” of the device, hence the “touch” of its name, a feature for which, in addition, we have paid considerable extra money, then the story changes. In fact, it changes radically.
Samsung T7 Touch External Drive SSD 500GB USB-C Black
With security disabled, we can use the hard drive on any device, fast and easy. In addition, if we move in only Apple environments we can format the disk or one of its partitions in encrypted APFS, which since iPadOS 14 is compatible with the iPad, and have all our documents fully encrypted with a simple password. In that case, the verdict, in my opinion, is that it is an excellent album, of course, considering that I have surely paid more than necessary for it.
Would you recommend this album? It depends. I myself am considering purchasing a 2TB T7 unit, but it is clear to me: without encrypting its content with the Samsung solution. The design is elegant and the features are outstanding, but with the added protection by footprint the price is also considerable.