Caldigit’s Tuff Nano is a very, very fast compact SSD drive that’s about half the size of an iPhone and uses a Toshiba PCIe SSD that achieved speeds close to 1,000MB/s in our tests.
To put that speed into context, the main competition in this space can achieve speeds in the region of 500-600MB/s.
It connects via USB-C, and comes with both USB-C-to-USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables (both 25cm) so will work with just about any computer, including Thunderbolt 3 – although it will lose some of the T3 40Gb/s bandwidth advantage, being of the 10Gb/s Gen.2 USB-C variant.
Another advantage of the USB-C connection is that it is compatible with Apple’s iPad Pro, as well as PCs and Macs. This is a thoroughly modern portable SSD, and one, we think, that will especially appeal to MacBook Pro or other modern laptop owners.
During system idle time, the Tuff nano stays in low-power mode, reducing power consumption and laptop battery life.
With a large-file Read speed of 915.1MB/s and Write speed of 867.2MB/s, it tested twice as fast as the comparably priced Samsung T5 Portable SSD. It’s also a little smaller, and certainly tougher.
It’s also much faster than the Adata SD600Q, although it’s nearly twice the price.
Nothing else in a portable format has got anywhere near as fast as the Tuff nano. It’s the sort of performance we’d normally expect from a multi-bay RAID enclosure!
It uses NVMe – a communications standard developed specially for SSDs by a consortium of vendors such as Intel, Samsung, Sandisk, Dell, and Seagate.
This level of speed makes it highly attractive to professionals using uncompressed files, such as photographers and filmmakers. Its compact and lightweight form also means such users will find it handy when on location.
If you often get impatient when copying files, this could be the antidote to your finger-tapping sighs.
We use CrystalDiskMark for our hard-drive testing.
Built for protection
As its name suggests, the Tuff Nano is also robust. It is IP67 certified, meaning that it can be immersed in water and is dust-tight. It can also withstand drops up to 3M.
Built for travel, the titchy Tuff measures 7.59cm-x-5.44cm-x-1.45cm, and weighs just 74g (about 10g heavier than the slower but cheaper Adata SD600Q).
Handily, its packaging can also be used as a travel case for the drive and its cables.
New capacities on the way
The Tuff Nano is available now in a 512GB capacity, with a 1TB model coming soon.
And it is available in four cheery colours: Charcoal Black, Royal Blue, Olive Green and Tomato Red.
For sheer speed, the Caldigit Tuff nano cannot be beaten in a portable SSD.
It is tiny and lightweight, impervious to everyday dust and water attack, and comes with modern USB-C (plus USB-A for older computers).
It’s a little pricier than some other (slower) SSDs but this won’t trouble professionals in need of the quickest portable SSD they can slip in their pocket. We can’t wait for the 1TB model.
Caldigit Tuff nano SSD Drive: Specs
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Type-C Port
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