Don’t worry about the backups, worry about your next adventure thanks to the CalDigit Tuff 2TB USB-C External Drive.

We are in dire need of more and more storage solutions that can handle the amount of data we produce or download. If you’re always on the go with your work and need more than what the laptop can provide, then you need to invest in a reliable portable drive. If you value your data then you want it to be safe from the environment or the rare accidents that can damage the drive itself. You need a CalDigit Tuff External Drive.

Rugged external drives have been around for some years now and they are gaining more and more popularity with professionals who need a reliable portable backup solution. An HDD that can handle being tossed in the bag or that can survive a natural disaster. Knowing that your backup can outlast your other tech is a comforting thought.

California-based company, CalDigit knows storage and for the past ten years, they’ve specialized in creating storage solutions for creative professionals. CalDigit was the first to provide external PCIe storage as well the first to bring USB 3.0 to the Mac. CalDigit products are designed to provide users with reliability, performance, style and flexibility.

Being avid users of external drives we teamed up with the great team at CalDigit to do a hands-on review of their Tuff 2TB USB-C Drive. In this review, we will look at the design, the speed, the quality, as well as the IP57 certification. And since it has some competitors we will also talk about how it compares to the other offerings on the market.

CalDigit Tuff


While it’s not revolutionary the design of the CalDigit Tuff HDD is very well thought out and serves it’s intended purpose. Constructed from a water resistant aluminum case that features a heatsink design that allows it to transfer heat from the drive but also provide rigidity. To protect it from drops there is a silicone bumper that comes in 5 different colors which allow you to color coordinate your personal files.
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Technical Specifications

The guys at CalDigit have packed this little Tuff drive with lots of useful features. Using a 2TB HDD for storage with a USB-C connector for high-speed data transfer that also provides power, they managed to create a rock solid storage solution. The standard HDD model provides performance up to 140MB/s with higher storage capacities. The CalDigit Tuff is an IP57 (Ingress Protection) certified device that can withstand water shock and dust.

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Taking into consideration the ruggedness that the product can withstand, the packaging is simple and informative. There is a lot of printed features as well as graphics in product images. Inside the box, we find a plastic case that houses the drive and the included cables. You get a USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB A cable that allows you to use your Tuff Drive with any computer.

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CalDigit Tuff

CalDigit Tuff


As this is our first review of an external drive we wanted to get our hands on something we use on a regular. A rugged portable storage solution that is compatible with the latest MacBook pro. Having other external drives for personal use meant that we can compare them to the Tuff 2TB drive and see the differences.

What our needs are from this type of product is durability, reliability, and speed. We take care of our phones and laptops so it’s good to have a product that can survive without the special care. That you can just throw it in the bag or rest it on any surface without worrying about scratching or damaging it.

We got all that and more in this little drive that offers great design and customization which in turn makes it highly desirable. CalDigit Tuff does everything you need from transferring personal files to making huge backups and it does it quickly and silently. When running transfer speed tests we found it performed very well at transferring large files on a MacBook Pro using the USB-C cable provided. The device also work with USB Tyle A models 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, as well as Thunderbolt, which makes this compatible with most computers out there and available for everyone.

CalDigit Tuff

The heatsink surface did its job at keeping the drive relatively cool while operating it indoors. If you travel to hotter climates and use your laptop outside, you know how quick those fans start spinning. We believe that while you can use it outdoors try to limit the time spent in the sun or on hot surfaces.

When trying to replicate all the accidents that might happen to this little guy to see if we can create any sort of damage, we were surprised at just how tuff it is. The silicone, together with the heatsink design, ensures that nothing can affect the precious data inside. Rain is no problem as the Tuff drive can be submerged for 30 min in water 1 meter deep. Tried it, still works just fine after you take it out from the water.

CalDigit Tuff

When looking at the stats, the Tuff drive performs better than it’s main rivals and offers better protection from the elements. At $179.99 you pay less for a better product that’s made to last. Although our personal external drives have regular USBs and the data transfers were slower, we are convinced of this little guy and believe it’s worth a buy.

So if you are and active person that takes his work out in the world or you just like to have your music and movie collection with you on a holiday through southeast Asia, then give the CalDigit Tuff 2TB USB-C External Drive a look. You might just get two, one for business and one for pleasure.

If you would like to know more about the Tuff drive and the rest of CalDigits products head on over to their website.


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