Samsung has introduced a groundbreaking portable solid-state drive (SSD) known as the T5 EVO, boasting an unprecedented storage capacity of 8TB, making it the highest-capacity portable drive currently available. The T5 EVO is also offered in 2TB and 4TB versions, all utilizing a USB-C interface for transfer speeds of up to 460Mb/s, though noticeably slower than NVMe SSDs. Despite its speed tradeoff, the T5 EVO presents a compelling combination of portability and immense storage capacity.
The compact T5 EVO has a palm-sized design resembling a miniature suitcase, featuring a top-mounted metal handle for convenient attachment to backpacks. With dimensions of 0.7 by 3.7 by 1.6 inches (HWD), it is highly portable. Samsung emphasizes the drive’s durability, indicating a metal shell with a rubberized surface that provides protection against drops, withstanding impacts of up to 6 feet.
Additionally, the device incorporates thermal guard technology to prevent overheating, potentially achieved through controller throttling in case of excessive heat.
The T5 EVO employs four-bits-per-cell QLC NAND flash, contributing to its slower speed compared to traditional drives but enabling the remarkable storage capacity. Samsung’s decision to use QLC NAND, which can match the speed of other SSDs when the buffer is active but may drop to USB 2.0 levels when full, is a notable tradeoff. AnandTech’s testing revealed sustained 440MB/s writes for up to 3 hours before performance degradation.
Available in 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB configurations, the T5 EVO is priced at $189, $349, and $649, respectively, each backed by a three-year warranty. Notably, the 8TB version carries a significant price premium, almost twice that of the 870 QVO SSD with comparable QLC NAND flash.
While numerous external SSDs with faster interfaces and TLC NAND offer swifter transfer rates—up to 4x faster than the T5 EVO—they don’t match its exceptional storage capacity, positioning Samsung as the market leader for those seeking maximum portable storage.