Seagate One Touch SSD review: portable storage that stands out from the crowd

The Seagate One Touch SSD is a fast, compact external drive

T3 Platinum Award
Seagate One Touch SSD
(Image credit: Seagate)
T3 Verdict

The Seagate One Touch SSD brings with it speedy USB 3.2 Gen 2 transfer rates and support for a variety of platforms. Add in the very compact form factor and the competitive price, and it's not difficult to see the appeal for anyone looking for a new external hard drive.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Works with Windows, macOS and Android

  • +

    Compact form factor

  • +

    Comes with supplied software

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Short USB cables

  • -

    Rather bland design

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    Limited capacities

The Seagate One Touch SSD is likely to come to your attention if you're looking for one of the best external hard drives or the best SSDs, and it's not difficult to see why: it's very compact, it offers speedy transfer rates, and on top of that it's competitively priced too.

Which external drive is right for you is going to depend on a variety of factors, including how much storage you need, what exactly you're going to be doing with it, and how much you've got to spend – so you might want to weigh all of this up before doing any buying.

Whether you need one of the best external drives for Mac or one of the best external drives for any other purpose, with its high-level specs and speeds and compact design, the Seagate One Touch SSD could be the right pick for you. Read on for our full review.

Seagate One Touch SSD review: design and setup

Seagate One Touch SSD

(Image credit: Future)

There are only so many ways you can dress up a portable hard drive, but Seagate manages to make the One Touch SSD look reasonably sleek and stylish. Our review unit came in a bright silver-coloured casing, but you can also pick it up with a black or blue exterior if you prefer. It's also very small, small enough to fit inside your hand – it's like several credit cards stacked up on top of each other.

The official dimensions of the Seagate One Touch SSD are 2.76 inches x 1.97 inches x 0.42 inches, which works out as 70 mm x 50 mm x 11 mm. It's also incredibly light, tipping the scales at a mere 0.1 pounds or 45 grams. It's no exaggeration to say that this is a portable hard drive that you could slip in your pocket and barely notice it was there.

Also in the box are two USB cables – a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable. Both of them are very short, perhaps to go with the ultra-compact size of the drive itself, but you can of course buy a longer one if you need it. One end of the cable plugs into your SSD drive, the other end of the connection goes into your device of choice, and a small white LED light indicates when the drive is successfully linked.

You can start using the drive straight away as soon as it's connected, but Seagate also provides its own software for backup purposes if you need it – it's not the most advanced file transfer application you're ever going to come across, but it's handy to have it included if you're not already using something else for automatic backups.

Seagate One Touch SSD review: specs and performance

Seagate One Touch SSD

(Image credit: Seagate)

The key spec of the Seagate One Touch SSD is of course the storage, and you can buy this drive with 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of room, with the price going up accordingly (our review unit offered 1TB of space, by the way). Which one is best for you will of course depend on how much data you've got to store, but we think 2TB of storage space is going to be ample for most users in the market for a drive like this.

Another feature that's important to note is support for Windows, macOS and even Android devices, and using the drive is very straightforward on all three platforms. The drive will work with all modern backup software solutions, or you can make use of Seagate's software – or you can just copy files over using File Explorer on Windows or Finder on macOS. If you're making a list of the pros of the Seagate One Touch SSD, then versatility has to be somewhere on it.

Seagate promises a maximum transfer speed of up to 1,030 MB/s, though when you're actually using the drive it's unlikely that you'll see speeds like that. We were able to shift around 10GB of data over from a MacBook Pro to the external drive in around 12 seconds, which gives you an idea of how fast the solid-state drive actually works. You won't be waiting around long to shift substantial amounts of data.

It's worth noting that the very latest  USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard is supported here, which means it should outpace many other older drives – assuming the computer or phone you're using also supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 as well. If you're upgrading from an older USB standard then you're definitely going to notice the difference when it comes to moving files around, especially if you've got a lot of them.

Seagate One Touch SSD review: price and verdict

Seagate One Touch SSD

(Image credit: Future)

There are a lot of good reasons to choose the Seagate One Touch SSD as your next portable hard drive: it's speedy in operation, it's simple to set up and use, it works with a lot of different devices, and it's small enough to fit in your pocket even with the cable attached (not something you can say about many external hard drives). The price is reasonable too – check the widgets on this page for the latest online deals.

External hard drives come in all shapes and sizes to fit a variety of needs. If you need a significant chunk of storage (say 4TB or more) then you might be better going with a more traditional, mechanical HDD drive for your next upgrade. You can also consider the best NAS drives – storage that attaches to your home internet network rather than one individual device, so you can get at it everywhere from any platform (and even from the other side of the world if you need to).

These storage options with more capacity also need more power, however. One of the key reasons to go for the Seagate One Touch SSD is that it's powered by its USB connection, so you don't need a separate cable or adapter for hooking it up to the mains. It's a perfect external hard drive if you need something you can take on the go with you or that will be moved between computers regularly.

Of course we can't vouch for the longevity of the drive after only spending a few days with it, but Seagate knows what it's doing when it comes to digital storage – you can be confident that the One Touch SSD is going to serve you well for as long as you need it to. It just might be the best portable external drive for you at the moment, depending on the price you can find it for and how other models compare in terms of cost.

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.