Review: CalDigit's Tuff nano is a killer external USB-C SSD. Here's why.

Review: CalDigit's Tuff nano is a killer external USB-C SSD. Here's why.


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CalDigit Tuff nano without cover

Supply: Home windows Central

Windows Central Best Award

CalDigit, a well-liked supplier of PC equipment together with our decide for a Thunderbolt 3 docking station, has launched a miniature model of its Tuff solid-state drive (SSD). The Tuff nano is marketed as a small, sturdy SSD that brings spectacular efficiency, ideally suited for popping right into a pocket or laptop computer bag once you hit the street. I gave the Tuff nano every week of use to see what it is all about and whether or not or not it is value your time.

Moveable USB-C SSD

CalDigit Tuff nano

Backside line: CalDigit's Tuff nano USB-C SSD combines compact aluminum chassis, lasting sturdiness, and speedy efficiency, all for a aggressive worth. In case you want a brand new exterior SSD, this must be close to the highest of your listing.


  • Small construct straightforward to hold
  • USB-C three.2 (Gen 2) switch speeds as much as 10Gbps
  • 4 colours out there
  • Host cable is detachable
  • Examined towards water, mud, and drops


  • Solely obtainable at 512GB
  • Comes formatted for macOS

What you will love concerning the CalDigit Tuff nano SSD

CalDigit Tuff nano with carrying case

Supply: Home windows Central

The CalDigit Tuff nano SSD comes with a plastic carrying case — altogether solely concerning the measurement of an ordinary exterior drive — with the SSD and a few host cables inside. One runs USB-C to USB-A when you've got a laptop computer with out USB-C, whereas the opposite runs USB-C to USB-C for optimum efficiency. They're each a few foot lengthy, and, because of being detachable, you do not have to fret a few cable breaking and rendering all the SSD out of date. The USB-C cable will work with Thunderbolt three ports since they use the identical format, although you will not get any additional efficiency above what you get with normal USB-C. The drive, with out cowl, is about 2.99 inches (7.59cm) by 2.14 inches (5.44cm), with a thickness of simply zero.57 inches (1.45cm). It is very moveable.

The Tuff nano is straightforward to advocate in case you want a compact, sturdy exterior SSD with excellent efficiency.

You'll be able to maintain the complete carrying case round for touring, however the Tuff nano can also be minimize out to go solo. Every unit comes with a detachable silicone cowl (obtainable in 4 colours) that protects towards shocks and drops. Along with the duvet, the whole drive is IP67 licensed to ensure it might stand up to small particles of mud and as much as one meter (three.2 ft) of water for 30 minutes. It is also been examined for drops as much as three meters (9.eight ft). You possibly can maintain it in a pocket with out worrying about it filling up with filth and mud, and getting the drive moist should not harm your knowledge. The USB-C port is waterproof, as is the aluminum cowl. To again up the claims, CalDigit gives a two-year guarantee

Contained in the strong aluminum chassis is a Toshiba PCIe NVMe SSD that may deal with the USB-C three.2 (Gen 2) normal. Meaning it is able to as much as 10Gbps switch speeds, which interprets to about 1,055MB/s learn speeds and 900MB/s write speeds when related with USB-C. I related the Tuff nano to my LG gram 15 by means of the USB-C port and examined with CrystalDiskMark.

CalDigit Tuff nano USB-C speeds

Supply: Home windows Central

With the SSD related by way of USB-A, speeds have been reduce in half. You are still going to get a top quality exterior drive, however if you wish to take full benefit, you will want to make use of it in tandem with a PC full with USB-C port.

CalDigit Tuff nano USB-A speeds

Supply: Home windows Central

Beneath load, the drive warms up, nevertheless it does not get scorching. The aluminum chassis does a superb job of dissipating warmth, even with the silicone cowl excessive. Contained in the SSD is a heatsink pad between the precise drive and canopy, which little question helps. It is a strong construct via and thru.

In comparison with some widespread competitors — just like the Samsung T5 Moveable — the Tuff nano brings superior velocity, higher sturdiness certification, and an analogous worth. The T5 tops out at about 540 MB/s learn speeds, it does not have IP67 certification, and it does not embrace a case. For a 500GB Samsung T5, you will pay about $120, whereas as 512GB Tuff nano prices about $150. That $30 distinction is undoubtedly well worth the efficiency alone, particularly should you're working with giant information. And the sturdiness bonus on prime solely sweetens the deal.

What you will dislike concerning the CalDigit Tuff nano SSD

CalDigit Tuff nano USB-C port

Supply: Home windows Central

The Tuff nano does not put up any empty guarantees, and I had no points utilizing it over every week. After unboxing it, I did need to reformat the drive to work with Home windows 10, because it comes commonplace for macOS compatibility. Not an enormous deal, and it solely took a few minutes to get it working optimally on Home windows 10.

Aside from that, I want there have been sizes aside from 512GB. CalDigit does declare to have the bigger 1TB measurement coming someday sooner or later, although there's not but a set date. As soon as it is obtainable, shoppers will be capable of select higher measurement that works for them. Due to the efficiency capabilities when working with giant information, a 1TB model ought to show fashionable.

Do you have to purchase the CalDigit Tuff nano SSD?

CalDigit Tuff nano with cover

Supply: Home windows Central

In case your PC has a USB-C port, the CalDigit Tuff nano is a simple purchase. It performs admirably with learn speeds above 1GB/s and write speeds not far behind, it is constructed properly to withstand mud, water, and drops, and it is sufficiently small that you would be able to slip it right into a pocket or sleeve with out a lot effort. In case your PC is caught with USB-A, the Tuff nano continues to be a strong purchase, although you will not be capable of take full benefit of its efficiency.

5 out of 5

So long as you do not presently want a measurement bigger than 512GB and do not need to reap the benefits of a Thunderbolt 3 SSD for truly insane performance, the Tuff nano must be close to the highest of your listing.

Moveable USB-C SSD

CalDigit Tuff nano

An amazing mixture of efficiency and sturdiness

The Tuff nano is a superb USB-C SSD so long as you do not want something extra substantial than 512GB. It is sturdy, it is moveable, and it is quick.

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