By Jason Snell
July 31, 2018 8:56 PM PT
A Thing We Like: Samsung external SSD
As we’ve mentioned previously in this newsletter, for me, summertime is macOS beta time. And running beta software isn’t a good idea unless you have a fallback position: A bootable macOS system that’s running a stable, non-beta version. A great way to provide yourself with that fallback is by purchasing a tiny, external drive. I bought one in 2016 and it’s currently serving as my High Sierra fallback, as I’ve now taken the plunge and started using the Mojave beta full time. (I have to boot back into High Sierra to record podcasts, due to incompatibilities with some of the recording software I use and the new OS.)
I’ve been very happy with my Samsung external SSD, the current version of which is the Samsung T5. I’ve got a 250 GB model (mine’s the older T3 edition), which currently goes for $100.
This thing is impossibly small. It will fit in your pocket. It’s bus powered, so you just plug the USB cable into your Mac and you’ve got a bootable drive. I leave mine plugged in and sitting on the top of the VESA mount on my iMac, so it’s completely invisible as I work. Only after I bought mine did I discover that this is actually a USB-C device (the current model ships with both USB-C-to-A and USB-C-to-C cords), and data transfer is quite fast, as you might expect.
Once the beta transition period ends and I’m able to do everything safely in Mojave, this drive will return to its other use—as a general-utility drive that makes it easy to shuttle files around to other devices quickly. And if you’re using a device that’s got limited space (probably because it’s got a small internal SSD of its own), you may want to consider getting one of these drives as a supplement, since they’re just so small and light.