by Adam Armstrong

CalDigit Tuff 2TB Review

The CalDigit Tuff is a 2TB portable drive that can take a beating without loosing user’s data. The drive leverages USB-C connectivity (and it is backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0) making it attractive to customers using new devices with USB-C ports such as the MacBook and the new MacBook Pros. USB-C has a maximum transfer speed of 10Gb/s. The drive also supports future embracing Thunderbolt 3 technology that has a maximum transfer speed of 40Gb/s.

The CalDigit Tuff is for professionals that have to take their work into the field often and need to keep their data safe. The drive is certified in U.S. Military MIL-STD-810G, meaning that it can be knocked around. It can be immersed in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and is dust resistant for those that work in deserts or other extreme environments. The drive is bus powered, meaning that users need not drag an extra power cord around with them. The bumper around the device comes in five colors, and the drive comes with an archive box for a further level of protection.

The CalDigit Tuff 2TB has a street price of $162.

CalDigit Tuff specifications:

  • Capacity: 2TB
  • Interface: USB-C (USB 3.0, USB 2.0, & Thunderbolt 3 compatible)
  • Drop resistant
  • Dust resistant
  • Water resistant: 30 minutes at 1M
  • IP57 certified
  • Performance: 130MB/s

Design and build

The CalDigit Tuff 2TB is a portable drive that is slightly smaller than a 3.5 HDD. The drive has heatsink design on the top and the bottom giving it several narrow groves on both sides. The body of the device is brush aluminum similar to the finish on most MacBooks. Around the covers is a removable bumper (orange in our case, though it is available in four other colors).

On one end of the device is the USB-C port as well as a light that indicates use.


To test the CalDigit Tuff 2TB, we used our HP Z640 Workstation using the USB 3.0 port. 

Testing 2MB read/write speeds with IOMeter, we found that the CalDigit Tuff was able to hit 129.19MB/s in sequential write and 128.92MB/s in sequential read. In 2MB random write the performance dropped down to 85.31MB/s and in 2MB random read the Tuff gave us 78.59MB/s

Switching over to random 4k transfers, the Tuff had a write performance of 243 IOPS and a read performance of 101 IOPS.


CalDigit has released the Tuff; a 2TB portable drive that is ideal for users that may end up dropping it, getting it wet, or getting it dirty without worrying about losing their data. The drive is bus powered through a USB-C interface that could potentially deliver speeds as high as 10Gb/s (the interface, not the drive). The drive is a perfect fit for newer devices with USB-C ports (such as the recently release MacBook Pro) or can be used with any USB 3.0 devices through a conversion cable.

Looking at performance, the Caldigit Tuff was able to hit sequential speeds around 130MB/s for both read and write in our 2MB IOMeter test. In random 2MB, the tuff gave us 79MB/s read and 85MB/s write. On our 4k transfers the Tuff had performance numbers of 101 IOPS read and 243 IOPS write.


  • Good price for a “rugged” drive
  • Sequential speeds around 130MB/s
  • USB-C connectivity


  • Only offers one capacity point

The Bottom Line

Users that go on location, and need a drive that gives them enough performance, capacity, and the ability to take a few hits, need to look no farther than the CalDigit Tuff 2TB. 

CalDigit Tuff at Amazon

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