Photography News Issue 61

Photography News | Issue 61 |


First tests

Imaging kit First tests We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list

Reviews by Will Cheung

Samsung Portable SSD X5 From£359.99


Every image-makerwants speedand reliability but that need is even greater for those shooting with the latest, very high resolution cameras and for videomakers using 4K. File sizes in the video world can be seriously huge, but even in stills the need for a fast performing hard drive is equally important. The Samsung Portable SSD X5 is a very high performing, solid state portable hard drive, using Thunderbolt 3 technology and giving exceptional write/read speeds. Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps bandwidth is

Prices 500GB £359.99, 1TB £629.99 and 2TB £1249.99 Capacities 500GB, 1TB, 2TB Sequential write speed 500GB: up to 2100MB/s 1TB/2TB: up to 2300MB/s Sequential read speed Up to 2800MB/s Systemrequirements Mac OS Sierra (10.12) or higher Windows 10 64 bit RS 2 or higher
 Macs andWindows PCs with Thunderbolt 3 ports (Not backwards compatible/not compatible with PCs only with USB interface) Interface Thunderbolt 3 Dimensions (wxhxd) 119x62x19.7mm Weight 150g Contact

four times faster than USB 3.1, which is why

its claimed read speed is 2800MB/s – 25 times faster than a conventional hard disk drive. Write speed is a claimed

2300MB/s on the two larger capacity models, and 2100MB/s on the 500GB version. To enjoy the benefits of the X5 you’ll need a Mac or PC with the Thunderbolt 3 interface. The X5 drive itself looks stunning, with a glossy finish and rubber slip mat. The metal housing can withstand drops from two metres and Samsung’s Digital Thermal Guard technology and an internal heat sink keeps the X5 from overheating, and working at an

Images Great looks, robust housing, the reliability of SSD and lightning fast performance – what is there not to like about the Samsung X5?

optimal temperature. The unit’s casing does get warm in use so you know the heat sink is working, and it never gets hot in use. I tested our 1TB sample on a 2017 MacBook Pro 13in SSD laptop with Thunderbolt 3, a 3.1Ghz Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB of RAM, with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test software. A write speed of 1420.8MB/s was recorded and the read speed was 1326.3 MB/s. Not quite the claimed theoretical read/write speeds but they are rarely realistic, and the test figures are still very impressive. In a practical test using my MacBook Pro, 11GB of data was transferred over to the hard drive in 38 seconds, which equated to a write speed of 289MB/s. The return journey was over twice as quick and gave a read speed of 611MB/s. That’s an impressive showing. I used the X5 as my work hard drive over a couple of weeks and found it great company. I got the chance to take the X5 as my backup for my pictures on a 3500-mile (as the crow flies) holiday to Churchill, Canada. It went into my hold suitcase on the way out and came back in hand baggage. I had no problems with the X5 at all, and having such fast performance at my disposal saved so much time compared with my usual USB 3.0 hard drive.


If you need an extremely fast speed, reliable workflow solution on the move, the Samsung X5 could well be it. It is blindingly fast and designed to perform in challenging conditions and withstand robust handling. Being a solid state drive gives much needed peace of mind if, like me, you’re paranoid about data loss. Its cost is high but you can’t put a price on lost work and time, and while the X5 is a serious investment it is a serious piece of kit, too.

Pros Speed, SSD reliability, great looks Cons Price, needs Thunderbolt 3 endowed machines

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