Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD Hard Drive

Last updated date: June 21, 2021

DWYM Score

8.8

Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD Hard Drive

Why Trust DWYM?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand review. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.
Show Contents

We looked at the top Portable Hard Drives and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Portable Hard Drive you should buy.

Update as June 21, 2021:
Checkout The Best Portable Hard Drive for a detailed review of all the top portable hard drives.

Overall Take

Providing you with 500 gigabytes of storage, this solid-state drive allows you to transfer data almost five times as fast as a traditional hard drive. It's extremely small and light and comes with two cables for multiple connection options. This high-performance unit can handle drops up to 2 meters.


In our analysis of 16 expert reviews, the Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD Hard Drive placed 5th when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Storage: The Samsung T5 500GB Portable External SSD elevates data transfer speeds to the next level and unleashes a new experience in external storage. Fast Transfer Speeds: With Samsung V-NAND flash memory and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, the T5 provides transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s, which is up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs. Transfers and backups of large-sized data including 4K videos and high-resolution photos will be much quicker and faster. Compact and Light: Smaller than the average business card, weighing just 51 grams, and only 10.5 mm thick. The compact, light, and slim T5 is the perfect portable storage. Connect with Ease: Connect the T5 to an extensive range of devices from PCs, Macs, smartphones, and other devices. The included USB-C to C cable and USB-C to A cable give you seamless connectivity without the hassle of purchasing other additional adapters.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

10.0
2 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
218 user reviews

What experts liked

Despite being able to fit this SSD in the palm of your hand, it holds an impressive amount of storage, as it’s available in 500Gb, 1TB, and 2TB options.
- Oh So Savvy Mom
It's hard to gush too much about the Samsung Portable SSD. This lightweight hard drive (1.75 ounces) fits into the palm of your hand, making it an excellent option for travel.
- Tech Gear Lab

What experts didn't like

while it is a bit on the expensive side, it makes up for it with its portability and speed
- Oh So Savvy Mom
High price per GB.
- Tech Gear Lab

An Overview On Portable Hard Drives

If you need extra storage for a computer, tablet, game console or phone, a portable hard drive can offer a helpful and flexible solution. These small devices work well whether you desire extra space for documents and media files, need to regularly back up your system or just prefer a portable device that lets you easily access files in different places. A portable hard drive can also help you hold onto an older computer a bit longer if you’re just running short on space.

When shopping for a portable hard drive, you’ll come across two main types: traditional hard disk drives and newer solid-state drives (SSDs). Each type uses different types of technology and has pros and cons that make them suitable for different users and storage needs.

The traditional portable hard disk drive contains moving parts inside and uses a magnetic system, so it has much slower read and write speeds compared to the SSDs available today.  These portable drives can get damaged from drops or knocks more easily, so they often work better if you plan to keep the drive on a desk rather than take it places with you. They can have very large capacities and come at a much lower cost per megabyte than SSDs, so they can offer a good solution for large system backups or multimedia storage.

If you want the fastest data transfer speeds possible, more durability and a lighter weight, you can look into buying an SSD. While these hard drives come at a higher cost for storage, they’re more durable since they don’t have the moving parts that traditional hard drives do. This kind of technology can offer extremely fast speeds where it feels your files or applications load instantly. These drives require less power and come with a lighter weight for even more portability.

Capacities will vary depending on the type of portable hard drive. Generally, you’ll find that portable SSDs come in capacities ranging from 120 gigabytes to 2 terabytes. On the other hand, many traditional hard disk drives start at 500 gigabytes and top out at 4 or 5 terabytes depending on the manufacturer. You’ll want to consider the type of data you plan to store on the device and keep in mind that going bigger can offer more flexibility down the road.

Compatibility is important when choosing a portable hard drive and includes both the formatting of the drive and the type of connection used.

Many drives come pre-formatted to work with Windows computers, so they would need reformating before you could use them with another device like a Mac or Linux computer. Portable hard drives are often designed to connect to devices with standard USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports and can offer reasonably fast speeds and high compatibility. Others have a Thunderbolt connection with even faster speeds.

You’ll find that portable hard drives may have special features that enhance durability. If you plan to carry the portable drive around with you and feel concerned you could drop or knock the drive while on the go, consider products that come inside a rugged casing that can protect the drive in extreme conditions.

Some portable hard drive manufacturers incorporate safety features that can come in handy if you plan to store sensitive data on the drive and worry that someone may access the files if the drive gets lost or stolen. For example, you’ll find some drives with fingerprint readers or special encryption that requires a code to access the drive at all. It’s also common for many portable hard drives to come with special software that can boost security.

The Portable Hard Drive Buying Guide

  • If you plan to plug your portable hard drive into a USB hub on your computer, check that the hub can effectively power the drive to prevent damage and data transfer issues. Hubs that don’t use an external power source often specify that you should not plug in a hard drive, while powered USB hubs can handle this kind of storage device without an issue.
  • Some portable hard drives come with an adapter so that you can use the device with both Thunderbolt and standard USB connections. However, keep in mind that you’ll be limited to the data transfer speed of whichever cable and connection you decide to use. For example, if your computer only has USB 2.0 ports, you won’t get the faster speeds even if a USB 3.0 cable gets used.
  • Along with finding black portable hard drives that can blend in with any system, you can find units that stand out, too. For example, you’ll find options in bold colors such as blue, green, red and silver for a more fun look. You can even decorate the portable drive with stickers like you might with your laptop.
  • While many people use a portable hard drive to back up important files, keep in mind that these devices can also fail or get damaged. So, you might also store particularly important files elsewhere, such as in the cloud, or even on another storage device like a flash drive.
  • To prevent possible damage to your portable hard drive, keep it away from extreme temperatures, dirty surfaces and moisture. You’ll also want to position the drive on a surface where there’s less of a risk of it falling. Bumps can damage the internal components, especially if you’re using a traditional hard disk with moving parts inside.
  • You might come across some portable hard drives that require connecting two cables to your device: one for extra power and one for data. So, make sure your device has enough available ports if you go with a product requiring a dual connection.
  • When buying a portable hard drive to use to back up a computer, it’s a good idea to choose an external drive with a larger capacity than your internal drive. That’s because your computer’s backup software often makes incremental backups at different time points, so you might have to delete older backups to have enough space in the future.
  • Keep in mind that while portable hard drives with several terabytes of storage can offer plenty of flexibility, there’s also a tradeoff. If something happens to the drive, that’s a lot of data to potentially lose. So, you might opt to purchase a few smaller drives or at least back up crucial files to the cloud as an extra safeguard.
  • You can usually use a portable hard drive to hold a bootable image of your entire computer for emergencies. This comes in handy in case your computer crashes since you can just plug the hard drive into another computer and boot up into your familiar programs and data. If you do this, you’ll have a much better experience with an SSD. Its faster speed will help with loading your operating system and programs.