A Small Upgrade With a Significant Premium
Much like the original T1, the new Samsung T3 proved itself with internal SATA SSD-like results, sustaining a throughput of 390MB/s when downloading (reading) a single large compressed file and 300MB/s when uploading (writing).
The T3 shines when handling lots of small files such as in our 'program' file transfer test which moves 6104 small non-compressed files totalling 2.75GB. The T3's download performance was 40% greater than the fastest thumb drives we've seen and almost four times faster than a conventional 2.5" hard drive. Moreover, the upload tests showed the T3 to be five times faster than the quickest thumb drive we've tested and 42% faster than the Kingston HyperX Max 64GB portable SSD.
We've found that high performance thumb drives get hot after long periods of activity and while this doesn't seem to impact their performance or reliability, it isn't exactly ideal. Fortunately, the T3's enclosure never became warmer than the ambient temperature and should that reach extreme levels, a 'Dynamic Thermal Guard' feature will activate to protect your data and drive.
The key upgrades brought by the T3 are its USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C connector along with a more durable enclosure featuring shock-resistant metal case with an internal frame.
Besides that, not much has changed here and it seems strange to call this the T3 given the limited changes.
The suggested pricing of the new T3 series would see it costing more than the current T1 models. For example, the 1TB model that we tested has an MSRP of $430 which would make it a little over 20% more expensive than the $350 T1 variant. That seems like a heck of a lot for a new case and a Type-C USB connector.
Regardless, if you're after a compact, high-speed, Type-C storage device then Samsung's Portable SSD T3 series is hard to beat.
Pros: Outpaces thumb drives and rival SSDs, super light, runs cool, features USB 3.1 Type-C and a metal case versus the T1's Type-A connector and plastic case.
Cons: A tad slower than the T1 in some tests yet the 1TB T3 is priced 20% over the T1 at $430 versus $350 (not to mention the 1TB 850 Evo mSATA at $300).