Large files, high-resolution photos and videos can accumulate over time in your laptop’s internal storage. And more so if you are one of those digital nomads working as say, a freelance writer, photographer, or videographer.
This is why investing in a portable SSD (solid state drive) not only helps to expand your existing storage but also can be used to backup your important data. Portable SSDs may be costly but they happen to be highly reliable since they contain no moving parts, unlike the one found in HDDs. They are lighter and have better transfer speeds too.
So, if you plan to buy one, check out our pick of 6 Portable SSDs Worth Getting For Digital Nomads.
1) WD My Passport SSD
The original WD (Western Digital) My Passport SSD, which was launched in 2017, was one of the best external storage devices I’ve ever spent on (it was around RM400 for 512GB, if I’m not mistaken). It’s fast, reliable and super-light that I can easily slip inside my jeans pocket.
Three years later, Western Digital revamped its popular My Passport SSD line with a spanking new design. Instead of the original two-tone design, the 2020 version of WD My Passport SSD sports a ridged aesthetic with an overall curvy shape made of metal and plastic. It comes in four different colour choices including Grey, Red, Blue and Rose Gold. Capacity-wise, we have 500GB (as opposed to 512GB seen in the original version), 1TB and 2TB.
I have to say the 2020 design has a nice, grippy feel. It’s very light too at just 48g with the size of the portable SSD equivalent to a slightly larger version of a credit card. The portable SSD happens to be resistant to moderate shock and vibration for up to 6.5 feet.
Now, for the performance: It’s reasonably fast upon file transfer and for peace of mind, it comes equipped with a 256-bit AES hardware encryption via WD Security. However, the WD My Passport SSD tends to be warm to the touch after using it for a long while.
2) SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
Don’t be fooled by its small and compact design because this SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD happens to be built tough. It’s super-thin at just 8.85mm, meaning you will have no problem slipping it comfortably into your pocket or your backpack.
Why is it built tough? Well, apparently this SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is primarily targeted at anyone who is a frequent traveller or digital nomad. It sports a toughened rubber casing, complete with an orange loop at the top right corner for something that you can securely attach to, say a bag. It’s both water- and dust-resistant rated at IP55 and it can withstand shock and drop up to 2 metres. Transfer speed, in the meantime, is acceptable.
3) Seagate One Touch SSD
Small but incredible, the Seagate One Touch SSD features a minimalist design with the Seagate logo located on the top right corner. Available in black, silver or blue, the Seagate One Touch SSD is simply lightweight at just 43g and you can easily fit it inside your backpack. It works well not just for Windows, Mac OS and yes, even Android phones. Transfer speed is reasonably fast no matter you are using it to transfer files, photos or video clips. What’s missing here, though is lacking of IP-rated water and dust protection.
4) Samsung Portable SSD T5
The Samsung Portable SSD T5 may have come out around 2018 but you know what they say about “old is gold”. Well, that familiar idiom certainly rings true with this one. It’s just 51g light and it’s compact enough that you can fit it into your pocket. The Samsung Portable SSD T5 sports a sleek metal finish, looking and feeling sturdy to hold. It’s reasonably fast too upon transferring the likes of files and videos. And when it comes to security, your precious data is in good hands, thanks to the AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Finally, did we mention it’s drop-resistant capable of withstanding up to 2 metres?
5) Samsung Portable SSD T7
Here’s an upgraded version of the T5 model, where Samsung continues to bring out the best in its portable SSD. That includes a pocket-sized, credit card-like design at just 58g light and yes, it fits easily in your palm and your pocket too. It supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface but just in case, it happens to be backwards compatible too. Expect speedy transfer performances while your portable SSD is well-protected by the AES 256-bit encryption. Prices, in the meantime, are steeper than usual even for the basic 500GB capacity.
6) Adata SSD External SE770G
The Taipei-based Adata levelled up its portable SSD game by offering a unique aesthetic. That aesthetic in question refers to its vibrant and colourful RGB-style cube-patterned effect. In other words, you will be greeted with a mini light show on the surface once you plug it into a USB port. The effect also indicates that your portable SSD is functioning. In terms of performance, it utilises the USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectivity capable of supporting reasonably fast writing speeds of approximately 900MB/s to 950MB/s.
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