CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

CalDigit Tuff review: One tough (and fast) portable drive

USB-C-ready, no security feature

The Tuff supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) and has a USB-C port allowing it to work with all new computers that have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. If you have an older computer that just has regular USB-A ports you can use the Tuff, too, since it includes a USB-C to USB-A cable. It also work even with a USB 2.0 port, albeit at much slower speed.

Out of the box, the drive is preformatted for Mac. If you want to use it with a Windows computer, you will first need to reformat it into NTFS, which takes just a few seconds. Or you can format it using exFAT if you want to use it with both platforms interchangeably.

The Tuff doesn't feature encryption, which is a bit disappointing. You don't have the option to shield the data it contains from prying eyes in case of loss or theft.

Fast performance

I tested both the SSD and HDD versions of the drive and they were fast. The SSD version was in fact the fastest among all single-volume portable drive I've reviewed, with sustained copy speed of some 460 megabytes per second. The HDD-based version, as expected, was slower at 140MBps, but still quite fast.

CNET Labs USB 3.1 portable drive performance

Glyph Atom RAID SSD
674.8
459.89
Caldigit Tuff (SSD)
462.7
420.48
Glyph Atom SSD
421.4
269.45
Sandisk Extreme 9000 Portable SSD
312.6
259.53
Samsung Portable SSD T3
311.1
240.91
Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate GT
165.1
326.94
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt All-Terrain
155.7
227.43
Caldigit Tuff (HDD)
140.9
140.79
G-Drive Mobile USB-C (USB 3.1)
109.9
125.75
WD My Passport (Fall 2016)
103.4
108.56

Legend:

Write
Read

Note:

Mesured in megabytes per second. Longer bars mean faster speed.

Should I get it

The CalDigit Tuff is a niche drive. If you need a tough storage device, and only then, it's a great investment. But if you just want a fast drive and it doesn't matter if it's vulnerable to drops and water damage -- which is the case of the majority of storage and electronic devices -- you can find many alternatives that are cheaper while offering more storage space.

Best Storage Devices for 2019

See All

This week on CNET News

Discuss CalDigit Tuff