Seagate One Touch SSD review

Seagate One Touch SSD review

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Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Daniel

The Seagate One Touch SSD is a 3.5-inch 2.5-inch drive with USB 3.0 and eSATA connectivity. It’s designed to work with Windows and Mac computers and includes a removable, hot-swappable battery to help with power management.

In the last few years, Seagate has quietly produced some very impressive drives. The BarraCuda and Momentus XT are just two of them. These are drives that are designed to do one thing, and do it well, and with Seagate’s new One Touch SSD, the company continues to advance its design with a new and rather unique drive.

The One Touch SSD has two major features: it’s a hybrid drive, and it’s removable. The hybrid nature is something that most people will be able to ignore, as it’s more about design than any real technical benefit. But the removable battery is a rather novel feature for a drive and one that should see Seagate One Touch SSD make a big impact on the market.

Seagate One Touch SSD: Design & Build

Seagate one touch ssd

Although it is difficult to see in the official photos of the new One Touch SSD, it is much smaller than most customers expect. Compared to the original design, the new model is even smaller.

That’s smaller than a 2.5in drive and about the same size as an mSATA module, just 70mm long and 50mm wide. Additionally, it weighs less than 80 grams including cables, making it easy to pocket.

Most of the construction is plastic, with a fabric finish on the sides and an aluminum top. Considering the low weight of the One Touch SSD, I suspect the metal top panel might provide some additional protection from accidental damage.

In addition to two USB cables, it comes with one USB-A cable and one USB-C cable. Connectivity. The drive has a USB-C port.

Even though short cables aren’t uncommon, I was immediately struck by how short they are. The cable between the bayonets can be counted as just 14cm long if you exclude the bayonet holding portions. However, those connecting to the rear port on a desktop computer will find this limited length unhelpful.

Besides the USB-C port, the only other physical feature of note is a small LED activity indicator. This isn’t an ideal location for the LED to be easily seen. Additionally, it comes in three colors: blue, silver, and black.

Furthermore, prospective buyers should note that Seagate does not offer a pouch for the drive and its cables, so you may want to keep the box. The lack of third-party cases will be addressed once these become more commonplace, and they will.

Seagate One Touch SSD: Specs & Features

seagate one touch

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

As the makers want the flexibility to switch suppliers based purely on price, Seagate has not disclosed exactly what NAND modules and controller the drive uses. I think it’s reasonable to assume that it uses the same technology as the Seagate Barracuda NVMe drives, which are overspecified for the requirements of USB-connected technology.

It will work with older USB 3.0 ports, but it was designed for the latest USB 3.2 interfaces, both USB-A and USB-C.

With its pre-formatted exFAT file system, this hard drive is compatible with most modern Windows PCs, Apple Macs, and even Android phones without the need to reformat. You can delete the tools and make more space available on the drive if you wish. The drive contains hardware registration tools for Windows and Mac (but not Linux).

Although this device doesn’t have any hardware encryption options, any folder encryption software can be used for added security. If you need biometric encryption, you might want to take a look at the Samsung T7 Touch (also USB 3.2 Gen 2).

This feature set makes the Seagate One Touch SDD a remarkably straightforward solution that only requires the user to understand how to connect it via USB and how drive letters and folder structures work.

Seagate One Touch SSD: Software

seagate one touch ssd

One-Touch SSDs came with a free application called Sync Plus (1.5.02), which Seagate has retained as a downloadable toolkit with the product registration.

On the drive, there is a mechanism to find the registering web locations, making the process simple and straightforward. As soon as you have downloaded and installed the Toolkit, you can create rules for dynamically copying local folders to the external drive. The sync can be controlled to enable full bidirectional operation, or locally deleted files can be retained on the external drive.

Seagate deserves credit for providing an effective solution and including it in the One Touch’s price. All external drive owners need this feature the most. The Sync Plus feature is only available for Seagate external drives.

You can also download the app for Android, but you’ll need a phone or tablet with USB-C to use it.

Seagate promotes Adobe Mylio along with Sync Plus, a photo organization, and distribution service that was once free, but now has a paid Premium version, by including a one-year subscription. Additionally, you can sign up for an introductory four-month Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, double the length of the previous One Touch bundle.

Although either of these lures might be helpful to those who have always intended to use these services, they are of little value to those with no intention of expanding Adobe’s already substantial coffers. Registration also seems to generate many follow-up emails from Mylio, more than I consider reasonable.

Even though the One Touch SSD is cute and highly portable, these aspects would be largely irrelevant if the insides are unable to perform well, so let’s take a look at that.

Performance

one touch ssd

In comparison, the first generation of One Touch SSD drives could deliver read speeds of around 412MB/s and write speeds of around 402MB/s.

Based on the limited bandwidth of the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface and the use of repurposed SATA SSD technology, this level of performance was achieved.

NVMe drive technology and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface with double the theoretical bandwidth are used in One Touch. This improves the speed more than twofold over its predecessor.

The important detail to note here is that you can achieve these speeds if you plug it into a Gen 2 port, but it will be less if you use an old USB 3.0 port (now called USB 3.1 Gen 1).

When I connected the new drive to an old USB 3.0 port, I got read speeds of 456MB/s and writes of 459MB/s. An improvement, but not a huge one.

Using a USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection, however, the speed was much higher, at 1,023MB/s reads and 991MB/s writes. The results are close to the theoretical limit of 1,200MB/s for USB 3.2 Gen 2. That’s faster than the best external SSDs we’ve recently seen.

During sustained ‘real world’ testing, where writing continues until the onboard cache is exhausted, performance fell to 864MB/s. It is quite respectable and is better than some NVMe M.2 SSDs I have benchmarked.

This new One Touch SSD performs far better than its predecessor in terms of overall performance.

Seagate One Touch SSD: Pros and Cons

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

Conclusion

The performance boost the Seagate One Touch SSD has seen is extremely refreshing, given how little progress we’ve seen across recent CPU and GPU generations.

With this launch, you can either pick up the fastest and latest One Touch SSD at a reasonable price or pick up the older version for a song while stock lasts.

In comparison to other USB 3.2 Gen 2 drives, the new One Touch SSD is competitively priced, performs well, and is highly portable. Although it is far from fragile, I am concerned it will not handle casual abuse at the same level as the Crucial X8.

Seagate made its drive so light and pocketable by not enclosing the electronics inside a thick metal tube. Sync Plus software has the tools to automate the copying of important files without requiring you to make explicit file transfers.

As with the previous Seagate One Touch, the new device has more than enough strong points to make it a popular choice. The drive and its cables would have been better kept together if Seagate had included a small carrying case.