Samsung has announced the T7 Shield USB-C portable SSD, which, by all accounts, has the same internal hardware as the T7 but with a more rugged design that endows it with IP65 water and dust resistance. The grippy rubber coating inherently makes it better at deflecting scuffs and scratches than the metal design of the T7, and it boasts better drop resistance of up to 9.8 feet. And, thanks to that rubber, Samsung says it can maintain high performance, transferring up to 2TB of data without triggering its Dynamic Thermal Guard feature that throttles data transfer speeds to safeguard the hardware.
The T7 Shield is available starting today in 1TB and 2TB configurations, priced at $143.99 and $260.99, respectively. It has the same transfer speeds as the T7 and T7 Touch (the latter of which I reviewed here), delivering sequential read speeds of up to 1,050MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 1,000MB/s.
The T7 Shield is available in black, beige, or blue color options, and each includes a USB-C to USB-C cable as well as a USB-C to USB-A cable. It’s compatible with Windows PCs and macOS as well as Android phones, game consoles, and more.
Samsung sent over a pre-production sample for The Verge to test out, and its performance is just as speedy as the T7, though its USB-C cable showed a tendency to wiggle out of the port with little provocation, which was worrying. Samsung spokesperson Courtney Camp shared with The Verge in a phone call that this issue is limited to pre-production samples and isn’t indicative of a similar retail issue popping up in the version.
As with previous Samsung USB-C SSDs, the prices will likely come down soon enough. But, if the rubber coating isn’t important to you, you can get the standard T7 in the 1TB ($114.99) configuration for far less than this new version costs at launch. Otherwise, the 2TB T7 currently sells for $229.99, and I think that the IP65 protection is worth an extra $30.