Plugable Thunderbolt3 external SSD – so very fast (storage review)

The Plugable Thunderbolt3 external SSD gets over external SSD  limitations by using the Thunderbolt3 40Gbps (TB3 – 5000MBps) interface. It achieves up to 2400/1800MBps sequential read/write speeds – nearly three times faster than USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) external SSDs.

Now the key to maximum speed is the host PCIe TB3 implementation. Whether it is PCIe 3.0 x2 or x4, both will give maximum read speeds of over 2400Mbps but the x2 will give write speeds of around 1000MBps while the x4 will go to 1800MBps.

The drive is Thunderbolt 3 or 4 compatible and draws power from the port. It is not backwards USB-C 4.0 or earlier compatible.

Australian Review: Plugable Thunderbolt3 external SSD 2TB

WebsiteProduct page
Price1TB $535 2TB A$799
FromAmazon AU  (AU Website to come)
Warranty3-years or 1900TBW
Elevator pitchThunderbolt 3 or 4 makes this 1 or 2TB external SSD the fastest on the planet.
Country of originTaiwan
CompanyPlugable (website here). Redmond, Washington, USA. It sells a wide range of products worldwide and is consistently in the ‘Top 5’ global docking station market.
MoreCybershack Plugable news and reviews
Fast FactsInterface: Thunderbolt 3 or 4 x4 (not USB-C backwards compatible)Format: exFAT but can format for any OSSize: 108mm x 65mm x 14.5mm x 272gBox: Drive, 18cm integrated cable and carry pouchTheoretical Seq R/W: 2400/1800MBpsDrop-resistant: Not stated but it uses a full metal bodyIP rating: Not stated but should be splash resistantWindows, macOS, Xbox X and PS5 (or earlier)

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First impression – Solid, sombre, black – Pass+

It is all about business. The milled heatsink-style aluminium case looks solid and the fixed 18cm TB3 cable (USB-C connector) means you can’t use the wrong cable.

The interface is TB3 or 4, PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 or x2 for a lower rate. It uses a Phison E12 flagship NVMe controller made for high-end consumer SSDs and enterprise SSDs. We suspect the M.2 SSD uses Toshiba 3D TCL and there is a DDR4 DRAM cache.

Tests – Exceed

Our reference Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2022 Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio (2022) – a thing of beauty and envy (review) has TB4 ports with PCIe 3.0 x4 implementation. But Windows defaults to the Quick Removal option that disables write caching for safe removal. To get the full speed you need to use the Better Performance Option with the Safely Remove Hardware icon but power outages or simply pulling the cable out may lose data.

Using Crystal Disk Mark tests peak throughput. Sequential read/write speeds were  – excellent. More impressive is the large file handling, which means you could image render on this.

CPDT tests sustained read/write. Sequential read/write speeds were MBps.

Black Magic Disk Speed Test looks at video rendering. It is capable of video rendering up to 12K@24fps.

CyberShack’s view – It is so very fast and perfect for videographers

It is perfect – a 10/10 with one caveat – it is Thunderbolt only.

Now you really have an external device that matches internal consumer SSDs and one that can give you the space to render on the go. It would be a shame to waste it for common garden variety storage!

Plugable Thunderbolt3 external SSD

1/2TB A$535/799



Performance x4 mode




Ease of Use (TRB3/4 only)





  • Amazing speeds 2400/1800MBps or more
  • Bargain price for TB3 speed
  • Solid, rugged, reliable
  • Quality controller and M.2 2280 SSD
  • Good 3-year warranty


  • Just remember its Thunderbolt only
  • Don't waste this speed on vanilla storage