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CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus review: A reliable, durable, portable SSD

47997 93776 Tuff Nano Plus and Mac xl


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The CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus is a fast SSD with an impressive 2TB capacity designed for on-the-go iPad and Mac workflows.

CalDigit makes amazing accessories for Mac and iPad, recently releasing a line of Thunderbolt 4 accessories including the TS4 Docking Station and Element Hub.

If they make headlines for their docks, they also offer several storage solutions. The CalDigit Tuff Nano has been around for a few years, and now the CalDigit Tuff Nano More joins the range.

portable storage

Right off the bat, one of the best parts of the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus is its packaging. It arrives in a plastic box which can serve as a storage option.

This reduces waste and provides an extra accessory for your drive.

Holding the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus box

Holding the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus box

The box label can be removed and replaced with one of your choice. These cases can be clearly labeled and organized on a shelf for quick access for heavy media users.

CalDigit Tuff Nano and USB-C cable in the case

CalDigit Tuff Nano and USB-C cable in the case

The Tuff Nano Plus is a hair over four inches long, two inches wide and just over half an inch thick. With the rubber bumper, it weighs 0.22 pounds all in.

CalDigit uses an all-aluminum case for the Tuff Nano Plus wrapped in a rubber bumper. The bumper covers the corners as well as the USB-C port.

The CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus without the lid

The CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus without the lid

You can remove the cover at any time for a sleeker appearance, even if you sacrifice some durability. The Tuff Nano Plus has an IP67 rating with the protective bumper attached.

IP67 means it’s fully dustproof and can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The USB-C port must be sealed for this water resistance to be maintained.

As a bus-powered USB-C NVMe SSD, it’s perfectly suited for mobile workflows. All current Macs have adopted USB-C, as have the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pro. No matter what device you use, the Tuff Nano Plus will work.

Tuff Nano vs. Tuff Nano Plus

Both have the same IP67 resistance and are preformatted in HSF+. Where they differ is in speed, size and capacity.

CalDigit Tuff Nano and Tuff Nano Plus

CalDigit Tuff Nano and Tuff Nano Plus

The Tuff Nano Plus is slightly longer than the Tuff Nano due to new internal NVMe support. CalDigit only offered the Tuff Nano in 512GB and 1TB configurations, while the Tuff Nano Plus is available in 2TB.

Finally, this updated NVMe SSD and its larger capacity translates to slightly faster speeds. The Tuff Nano was advertised at a read speed of 1055MB/s, while the Tuff Nano Plus is advertised at 1088MB/s.

2TB capacity on the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus

2TB capacity on the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus

Since the differences aren’t huge, CalDigit continues to offer both versions. The smallest capacities of the Tuff Nano and the largest capacity of the Tuff Nano Plus.

Format as needed

Out of the box, CalDigit formatted the Tuff Nano Plus in Apple’s HSF format. This was Apple’s preferred file format for years before it began the transition to APFS.

APFS was designed specifically for flash storage in its latest Macs, but can be used with external drives. We ran speed tests in both the default HSF+ and APFS.

Formatted in HSF+, our CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus achieved a write speed of 828MB/s and a read speed of 738MB/s. This is just below the advertised maximum read speed of 1088MB/s .

Speed ​​test results when formatted APFS

Speed ​​test results when formatted APFS

When we reformatted the drive to APFS, the write score increased to 921MB/s while the read score remained nearly the same at 740MB/s. This score is higher than what we saw on the CalDigit Standard Tuff Nano.

Should you buy the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus?

When we reviewed the CalDigit Tuff Nano in 2019, we loved it. It was exceptionally compact and fast.

Since then, many other portable SSDs have made their way onto the market.

Box for the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus

Box for the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus

It’s a lot more competitive than it was back then, and users have a lot more choices to choose from. Despite this, CalDigit remains at the top of our list of recommendations.

The updated CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus is faster while offering larger storage size. Users who need lots of storage on the go need look no further.

Box for the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus

Box for the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus

  • Ultra-fast NVMe SSD support
  • Protective rubber exterior
  • Carrying case included
  • High read and write speeds
  • Resistance IP67
  • Not many color choices
  • Larger than the Tuff Nano

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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