Seagate knows that consumer interest in portable SSDs is growing, and so its portfolio has also expanded. We have with us for review today the new Seagate One Touch SSD, which is relatively affordable and quite stylish. It's positioned as a tech lifestyle device, and targets people who don't necessarily need the best possible speed but are looking for something better than a typical portable hard drive.
For anyone who hasn't tried an SSD before, the differences compared to a hard drive will be stark and surprising. They're potentially multiple times faster than hard drives, but much lighter, smaller, easier to carry, and more reliable. Many people are happy to spend good money for these advantages.
With a growing number of options in the market, will the Seagate One Touch SSD emerge as the one to buy? Read on to find out.
Seagate is definitely focusing on design with this model. The company has gone for a credit-card shape, though despite claims that this device can be slipped into a wallet, it's much too thick for that. In fact, this drive is almost exactly the same size as the very popular Samsung SSD T5, though very different in design.
There's a distinctive textured fabric panel on the top, and a cloth tab with the Seagate logo on one side. The 1TB version of this SSD is available only in white and black, but if you choose the 500GB version, there are special editions with blue, green, red, or grey camouflage prints. Additional artist editions for both capacities are shown on Seagate's US website though these don't appear to be available here, and there's the possibility of more designs coming out in the future.
For a device that's positioned as modern and fashionable, we're quite surprised to see an old Micro-USB 3.0 port on the back, like most external hard drives still use. This isn't as convenient as a USB Type-C Port, which we'd expect on an SSD. Seagate also doesn't include a Type-C cable or adapter, so those with sleek Type-C-only laptops will need to buy an adapter of their own.
The included USB cable is short at 20cm but braided. If this was meant to match the fabric on the SSD itself, Seagate could at least have gone with a matching white or grey. The bottom of the unit is textured so it doesn't slide around easily, and the sides are rounded so you can carry this device around in a pocket without any discomfort. It's also quite light at just 59g.
Seagate's main push with this SSD model, and where it gets its ‘One Touch' name from, is its “continuous auto backup” functionality. The company says ‘Sync Plus' software is freely downloadable on its website, though we couldn't find it easily – an installer or Web shortcut on the drive itself would have been helpful. It turns out that we needed to find and download Seagate Toolkit, which Sync Plus is a part of.
Users should note that there is a big difference between file syncing and file backups. The Sync Plus function, as its name suggests, keeps copies of the files or folders you select synchronised to a folder on the One Touch SSD. This means all file changes, including deletions, are mirrored immediately so data isn't backed up in the truest sense – you can't recover older versions of files, for instance.
However, the software does move deleted files to an ‘Archive' folder instead of immediately mirroring the deletion, so you can potentially recover from some common accidents or mistakes that lead to data loss. The mirror is also safe while the drive is unplugged, and you can choose between one-way and two-way syncing, which means that your original files are never replaced by ones from the mirror.
Seagate also throws in a one-year subscription to Mylio Create, an online photo storage and management tool. You get support for four computers and unlimited mobile devices, with a cap at 50,000 photos. Seagate says this is worth $50 (approximately Rs. 3,575) and it will cost the same amount to renew your account for a year after. One Touch SSD buyers can also get two months of Adobe Creative Cloud's Photography Plan (which includes only Lightroom and Photoshop) for free.
What matters most for an SSD is speed, and the Seagate One Touch SSD is rated for data transfers of up to 400MBps, which refers to sequential speeds. The company has not published any further details about the drive's performance. The warranty period is three years.
Our 1TB unit was formatted using the ExFAT file system with 931.51GB of usable space. You'll need to reformat or partition it if you intend to use Time Machine for backups on a Mac. We would have liked hardware or software encryption, but that isn't a native feature.
We ran our tests using our standard test bench, built out of an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, a Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard, 2x8GB of G.skill DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung SSD 860 Evo boot drive, a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 graphics card, and a Corsair RM650 power supply.
CrystalDiskMark actually showed us a score that technically exceeded Seagate's 400MBps claim by a fair margin. The sequential read and write speeds were measured at 439.7MBps and 309.9MBps respectively. Of course this represents best-case scenario usage conditions. A more accurate stat to consider is a drive's random read and write speeds, which were 136.6MBps and 21.94MBps respectively.
This is actually pretty good performance, beating some of the similarly priced portable SSDs we've seen recently, such as the WD My Passport Go and Adata SD600Q. Do keep in mind that these figures might not be the same for the 500GB version.
The Anvil performance benchmark reported read and write scores of 1,218.89 and 453.46 respectively, for a total of 1,672.36. This matches the same pattern, with performance much stronger when it comes to reads than writes.
Overall, we like the Seagate One Touch SSD. It's quite portable and looks good, and performance is fairly strong too. However, we really can't understand the decision not to use USB Type-C. It seems as though Seagate is targeting mainstream users who might just about be ready to upgrade from a spinning hard drive, which is at odds with the otherwise premium positioning.
The Samsung SSD T5 is still better in terms of sheer performance, and Seagate also offers its own Fast SSD model if that's your priority. Both these options use USB Type-C and come with Type-A as well as Type-C cables. They also aren't too much more expensive.
The Seagate One Touch SSD is currently priced quite well, especially the 1TB model which sells online for under Rs. 10,000 (though prices seem to fluctuate quite a lot). There's also a slightly lower priced model called the Seagate Expansion SSD which doesn't have the fabric design touches or software bundle, but is rated for the same 400MBps speed.
Price (MOP): Rs. Rs. 6,799 (500GB); Rs. 9,350 (1TB)