Seagate One Touch SSD review

Seagate One Touch SSD review

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

Recently, Samsung released a line of portable SSDs called the T7 Touch. The word ‘touch’ in that line referred to the integrated fingerprint security sensor that permitted the contents stored on it to be secured biometrically.

Is it reasonable to assume that the Seagate One Touch is the same? No, it is just a branding difference. For 1TB and 2TB capacities, the model number is ‘STKG500400’ with ‘1000’ or ‘2000’ in the middle. Here is the review of the 1TB model.

To add fuel to the branding bonfire, Seagate launched a previous One Touch (STJE) in 2019 with only a USB 3.0 interface (USB 3.1 Gen 1) and not the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface of the new product.

Leaving those points aside, the new One Touch SSD enters a market already occupied by some great and reasonably priced portable SSDs like the Crucial X8.

Design & Build

seagate ssd

Despite the official photos of the new One Touch SSD, it is difficult to gauge that it is much smaller than most customers would expect. Both the original and the new model are very compact.

Only 70mm long and 50mm wide, that’s much smaller than a 2.5in drive and only slightly larger than an mSATA module. The device weighs less than 80g including cables, so it can easily be slipped into a pocket.

A majority of the construction is plastic, with a fabric finish on the sides and an aluminum cover on top. Because of the low weight of the One Touch SSD, I suspect the metal top panel is remarkably thin, and it might even provide some additional protection against accidental damage.

Upon opening the box, you will find two USB cables, one USB-C, and one USB-A connectivity. There is a USB-C port on the drive.

Although this is not uncommon, I was immediately struck by how short these cables are. There is only 14cm of cable in between the bayonet holding portions. If you’re using the drive in a laptop, this is fine, but if you’re connecting the drive to the rear port of a desktop computer, this is unhelpful.

In addition to that, there is only a small activity LED on the side with the USB-C port, which is not readily visible. Other than that, it is available in black, silver, and blue.

For prospective buyers, it is also worth mentioning that you may want to retain the box since Seagate does not include a pouch for the drive and cables. Once third-party cases become commonplace, and that will happen, some excellent solutions will emerge to address this shortcoming.

Specs & Features

portable ssd

Our review hardware contained 1TB of flash storage, and the One Touch SSD is available in almost de facto capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

Because Seagate wants the flexibility of changing suppliers based solely on cost, it does not document exactly what NAND modules and controllers the drive uses. But it is logical to assume that it uses the same technology that Seagate Barracuda NVMe drives to use, which is overspecified for the requirements of this USB-connected technology.

While the drive is compatible with older USB 3.0 ports, it was designed for the latest USB 3.2 interfaces in both USB-A and USB-C formats.

Pre-formatted in the exFAT file format, the drive is compatible with most modern Windows PCs, Apple Macs, and even Android phones without needing to be re-formatted. Among the tools on the drive are hardware registration tools for Windows and Mac OS (but not Linux), although you can delete them to make more space available.

Unfortunately, this device does not have any hardware encryption options, although it is possible to use any folder encryption software for additional security. If you need biometric encryption, consider the Samsung T7 Touch (also USB 3.2 Gen 2).

The Seagate One Touch SDD is intended to be a remarkably straightforward solution that only requires the user to be able to connect it via USB and understand how drive letters and folder structures work.

Software

Sync Plus (1.5.02) came with the original One Touch SSD, and Seagate has retained this free software in a downloadable toolkit that you can access when registering the product.

The drive includes a mechanism to find the registering web addresses, which makes the process straightforward. With the Toolkit, you can create rules to copy local folders to the external drive dynamically once you’ve downloaded and installed it. Synchronization can be controlled, such as enabling full bi-directional operation or retaining locally deleted files on the external drive.

In my opinion, the One Touch offers the one feature that all external drive owners really need, and Seagate deserves credit for creating an effective solution and including it in the price. Please note that only Seagate external drives support Sync Plus.

Additionally, there is an app for Android, but you will need a phone or tablet with USB-C to use it.

In addition to Sync Plus, Seagate offers a one-year subscription to Adobe Mylio, which was previously free, but now has a Premium paid option. Additionally, you can get an Adobe Creative Cloud Photography introductory four-month plan, which is double the period of the previous One Touch bundle.

Both of these efforts might help those who intend to use these services in the future, but for those who have no intention of adding to Adobe’s already substantial coffers, they’re of little value. Registration also generates many follow-up emails from Mylio, more than I would consider reasonable.

Although the One Touch SSD is cute and highly portable, these aspects are rendered insignificant if the insides are not up to par, so let’s take a closer look.

Performance

Compared to its predecessor, the first generation of One Touch SSD drives only managed read speeds around 412MB/s and writes around 402MB/s.

Due to the limited bandwidth of the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface and the SSD usage of repurposed SATA SSD technology, this performance level was achieved.

With a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface and NVMe drive technology, the new One Touch has double the theoretical bandwidth. As a result, it has more than twice the speed of its predecessor.

The critical detail here is that it can achieve these speeds when connected to a Gen 2 port, but it will be less when connected to an old USB 3.0 port (now called USB 3.1 Gen 1).

The new drive reads at 456MB/s and writes at 459MB/s when connected to an old USB 3.0 port. That’s slightly faster than its predecessor, but not much faster.

The USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection, however, showed 1,023MB/s reads and 991MB/s writes. We have recently seen faster external SSDs at Tech Advisor that matches the theoretical limitation of 1,200MB/s for USB 3.2 Gen 2.

The performance dropped to 864MB/s in sustained ‘real world’ tests where writing continued until the onboard cache was exhausted. That’s a very respectable result and matches some of the NVMe M.2 SSDs I have tested.

Overall, the new One Touch SSD is far superior to the old one in terms of performance.

Pros Cons
Highly portable Could be more robust
Free Sync Plus software Short cables
Up to 2TB capacities
USB 3.2 Gen 2 level performance

Verdict

After seeing the staggeringly insignificant improvements we have seen across the last few generations of CPUs and GPUs, it is refreshing to see such a significant performance boost on a product line as the Seagate One Touch SSD has shown.

In this launch, you have the option of either picking up the fastest One Touch SSD at a great price or picking up the older model for a song while supplies last.

Compared with other USB 3.2 Gen 2 drives, the new One Touch SSD is competitively priced, performs well, and is highly portable. Even though it is far from fragile, the Crucial X8 will not handle the same level of casual abuse.

Seagate made the drive incredibly light and pocketable by not enclosing the delicate electronics inside a thick metal tube. Additionally, the free Sync Plus software allows you to make it copy away important files without having to transfer them explicitly.

Like its predecessor, the new Seagate One Touch has more than enough strengths to make it a popular choice. Seagate should have provided a small carrying case to keep the drive and its cables together.