CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus Review. A BIG and FAST SSD inside a small package

CalDigit released its newest Tuff Nano SSD drive. It’s the Nano Plus and as the other Nano drives, it is incredibly small and lightweight, yet IP67 waterproof and made of ruggedised aluminium. It’s the fastest Nano available with sppeds that reach up to 1088MB/s.

The Tuff Nano range is popular with users of iPad Pro’s (2020 and 2021), MacBook Air and geeks like myself who like the small form factor and the silicon rubber bumpers. The Tuff Nano Plus is about 20% bigger than the Tuff Nano which is due to the higher performing NVMe SSD inside. The connection to your computer or tablet is the same: USB-C type USB 3.2 Gen 2. This guarantees throughput speeds of up to 10Gbit/s which is plenty for the SSD’s maximum performance.

The performance was the first thing that I measured. My test unit showed a maximum throughput of 918MB/s — both read and write speeds, which is rare. Unlike the Tuff Nano, the Tuff Nano Plus comes with only one cable, a USB-C to USB-C cable. The Tuff Nano also has a USB-C to USB-A cable inside. True to the Nano moniker, the cable is 20cm long.

I was interested to see whether the unit would throttle back when put under pressure, so I measured with AJA System Test Lite and found no throttling at all. The test also showed not a lot of frames were dropped throughout this continuous test. All in all, the Nano Plus did better than the Tuff Nano, which did well when I reviewed that one.

The Tuff Nano Plus is waterproof and drop proof up to 3 metres. It’s also dust tight. I’m always a bit wary of trying out the waterproof claim but have yet to come across a CalDigit device that does not live up to its specs and the Tuff Nano Plus is no exception.

My final thoughts are that the Tuff Nano isn’t much slower than the Tuff Nano Plus, so it depends on what you’ll be using it for the most. The Nano does come in smaller capacities of 500GB and 1TB and its write performance is less smooth. The Tuff Nano Plus, though, is available in 2TB, meaning it is more suitable for storing larger files such as video. In addition, it has butter smooth write performance which means you could even edit video files right from the Nano Plus.

The Tuff Nano Plus retails for 319 USD.

Interesting to know as well: Weight Tuff Nano: 77gr — Weight Tuff Nano Plus: 111gr — Weight OWC Envoy Pro FX: 237gr — Weight OWC Elektron: 91gr.

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