I have used quite a few Portable Hard Drives over the years but this is the first one that has used a micro-B USB 3.0 Cable. This has a regular USB Type A male connector at one end and a USB 3 micro-B male connector at the other which plugs into the Samsung M3 portable hard drive. Don’t confuse this with the Micro USB (2) connector used with most mobile phones as they are not the same. You can use the old style cable but it will be a lot slower.
Samsung M3 Portable Hard Drive Review
Samsung M3 Slimline 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
It’s not a big deal as a short(47cm/18in) USB 3 cable is supplied in the box with the drive. However, if like me, you tend to leave cables lying around and then forget where you left them, you may have a problem. They are not difficult to find and Amazon sell them just make sure you search for ‘USB 3.0 Micro-B’ (if you paste that into the Amazon search it will take you straight to them).
The drive itself looks fine, feels quite sturdy and mine did not make any noise or vibration. In fact, I had to look at the LED indicator on the back to be sure it was on. It is about the size of a smartphone but twice as thick. It comes with some Samsung software, the installation of which is optional for Windows users (Apple users may need to use the supplied NTFS driver).
The pro features:
- Handy portable storage
- Durable black design
- SafetyKey protection for your data
If you are a Windows user and don’t want to install the Samsung software (I didn’t) then you will be up & running in seconds. All you have to do is plug one end into the drive and the other into your computer. The drive uses the computer to power it. Some computers cannot deliver enough power through the USB port to run the drive. In this situation, the manual recommends buying a ‘Y’ cable. Again Amazon sell these but make sure you get one with the USB 3.0 Micro Type B connector at one end.
Apple users may need to install the driver which is supplied on the drive as it is pre-formatted with the NTFS file system. I don’t use any Apple computers but I believe some of them cannot write to NTFS partitions without using the driver.
As to the performance, it seems fairly quick. I copied 110GB of large files to it in about 40 min using the USB 3 port. This works out at about 2.75GB per minute. Copying the files back was about half as fast again.
According to Windows 7, the speeds were:
- Computer to Drive : 58MB (megabytes) per second
- Drive to Computer : 80MB (megabytes) per second
If you want to, you can use this drive with a regular USB 2 port instead if USB 3 but it will be a lot slower.