Team Group Inc. headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan makes a wide range of computer accessories, often based on flash memory.
This review will be looking at the T-Force Treasure Touch External RGB SSD and discovering if this distinctive design is ready to compete with better-known brands.
Price and availability
Teamgroup makes only a 1TB version of this drive, and that’s what we received to review. The price on the US Amazon.com is $169.99, and at this time it hasn’t appeared on the European Amazon or any other retailers.
As Teamgroup has many retail partnerships across the globe, we’d expect the number carrying this line to expand rapidly in the near future.
Based on this price, this isn’t a bargain. You can get a 1TB SSD for much less if you don’t want the specific features this design offers.
Design and features
To maintain the questionable sanity of your reviewer, this product is called the Teamgroup T-Force Treasure Touch External RGB SSD, but we’ll refer to it as the ‘Treasure Touch’ from this point onwards.
The Treasure Touch comes in a small cardboard box with a dual connector USB cable, a two-page instruction manual, a foam stand and a metallic T-Force sticker.
The drive is exterior is mostly black anodised aluminium, it sports a USB-C port on one end, and an RGB LED strip recessed into one side.
At 85.5 mm long, 68.5 mm deep and 12.5mm thick the design represents the middle ground between the larger external SSDs that use repurposed 2.5” technology and those that use custom designs to make them very small.
This modest scale makes it easily pocketable, and at 106g it isn’t any significant mass.
At the time of writing Team Group only offers this drive as a 1TB capacity mechanism, providing a decent amount of capacity for any use.
Our review drive came preformatted as exFAT, and therefore was ready to connect and use with any Windows 10 PC. But, it could equally be used with prior Windows releases, Linux and Mac OS, if reformatted.
The drive was devoid of any files, and there are no specific utilities available from Team Group that we could find.
If this all seems a bit mundane, then the Treasure Touch has one curious feature that may interest some, it comes with an inherent LED light show.
Once you plug it into a computer, the LED strip will immediately start to cycle a rainbow of colours, revealing that the drive is powered.
On the top surface of the drive is the T-Force logo and tapping that can change the colour effect or disable the illumination entirely. There are five modes that include white, blue, green, orange and a rainbow transition.
As lovely as the colours are, a small application on the host system that allowed you to create colour cycles might have been a good idea?
We noted while testing this that the touch panel works fine while the drive is connected to a USB-C port, but when using the Type-A adapter, it didn’t register our finger presses.
For gamers, this might be of some interest, but for most casual users, it just provides visual feedback of activity, and little else.
One other curiosity is a laser-cut foam cradle that Teamgroup included in the box. It holds the Treasure Touch off the desk at an angle, but with LED illuminated side of the unit pointing downwards. You can have it colour side at the top, but with that orientation, you are looking at the underside and not the T-Force logo.
The Teamgroup promotion images show we didn’t misinterpret how to place it on the cradle, and it seems an odd choice.
Hardware and performance
We’ll be kind and describe the performance of the unit as mediocre, especially considering that it is promoted as being a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C device.
That interface supports 10Gbit data transfers and the better external SSDs that use it max out at about 1,000Mb/s in both reading and writing.
The Treasure Touch can only manage half that performance, strongly indicating that inside is not a memory module based on an NVMe drive, but a SATA-based SSD design.
Here’s how the Teamgroup T-Force Treasure Touch External RGB SSD performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
CrystalDiskMark: 476.77MBps (read); 492.07MBps (write)
ATTO: 505MBps (read, 256mb); 494MBps (write, 256mb)
AS SSD: 496.53MBps (seq read); 461.92MBps (seq write)
AJA: 495MBps (read); 459MBps (write)
CrystalDiskMark rated it with 475MB/s reads, and 493Mb/s writes, and AJA System Test backed that result up with 459Mb/s reads, and 495MB/s writes.
For a USB 3.2 Gen 1 device, those would be good scores, but this has a Gen 2 interface supposedly. At the current asking price, the Treasure Touch will be competing with drives that can hit 900MB/s or better, and therefore nearly achieving 500MB/s isn’t going to cut it.
How much of this is an issue for you will depend on the system that you use it, as the internal drives of the system and the USB interface can all be limiting factors.
For those still using conventional hard drives or SATA SSDs, the Treasure Touch is fast enough, but those with NVMe storage might want something more rapid than this for their money.
The closest product we’ve seen recently is the ADATA SE770G, a drive with an even more spectacular lighting effect that is just $139.99 for the 1TB option. And, costing less than the Treasure Touch, it delivers nearly double the performance, with 950Mb/s reading and 900MB/s writing.
All around the same cost, but lacking a light show is the Sabrent 1TB Rocket Nano at £149.99, the Crucial X8 1TB at £140.20 or $149 and the WD 1TB My Passport Portable SSD at £143.99 or $164.99.
These are all faster than the Treasure Touch for file transfers, and some like the X8 are substantially more robust.
We liked the construction and style of the Treasure Touch, even if the LED lighting was something of a gimmick rather than genuinely useful.
If this unit was $100 for the 1TB model and aimed purely at those who don’t need faster speeds, we’d probably cut the Treasure Touch more slack.
But it’s more expensive than the market-leading Crucial X8, has half the performance of that product and isn’t as robust. And, while the X8 doesn’t put on a light show, most users would like the 1,000Mb/s data transfers and the tough exterior rather than the pretty colours.
We’re also not keen on this drive being pushed as USB 3.2 Gen 2 when the SSD technology inside can’t exploit the extra bandwidth in that interface in any significant way.
Overall, the Treasure Touch doesn’t tick enough boxes to recommend, even if it looks perfectly placed connected to a games console or exotic PC system.