The 1TB model of the SK Hynix Tube T31 Stick SSD beside its box.

SK Hynix Tube T31 Stick SSD Review: This Thick Stick Sure Is Quick

Who really cares if it's a little bulky with speeds like this?

Written by:
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Carley is a professional JP-EN translator and writer currently based in Des Moines, Iowa. She has written hundreds of articles for popular sites such as Siliconera, Gameranx, and Otaquest, and has been playing games nonstop since 1996.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.
8.0
VGKAMI Verdict
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0.0
User Verdict
Votes:0
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Metric VGKAMI Verdict User Verdict
Design 7.0
Storage Capacity 9.0
Warranty Length 7.0
Price 7.0
Damage Resistance 8.0
Read Speed 9.0
Write Speed 9.0
Despite being more thick than the competition, the SK Hynix Tube T31 makes up for its bulky design with unbeatable speeds and a simple style. Its USB-A connector makes it extremely versatile—perfect for both PC and console use. While it's on the pricey side, it's high quality, sturdily built, and has a decent warranty guarantee that'll last consumers for years to come.

Pros

  • Beats competition in both read/write and transfer speeds
  • Sturdy with decent cooling
  • Type-A USB connector makes it extremely versatile

Cons

  • A little on the bulky side
  • Slightly higher cost than other sticks on the market
  • Only comes in 512GB and 1TB models

Following the release of its first portable SSD named The Beetle, SK Hynix returned with a high-performance stick SSD that we’ll also be using for the foreseeable future. The sleek and universally connectable SK Hynix Tube T31 packs more of a punch than your run-of-the-mill storage dongle.

Table Of Contents

    Packaging and Presentation: Less Is More

    SK Hynix has an incredible product design team. Much like the Beetle, which had an eye-catching golden Scarab on its box, the Tube T31 teases prospective buyers with what looks to be a cross between a light bulb and an electron tube. Unfortunately, the stick’s appearance itself isn’t nearly as memorable, looking more like a lighter and less like one of Edison’s inventions. With its rounded edges and sturdy matte-black plastic shell, it may be plain, but it’s effortlessly familiar and easy on the eyes.

    Inside the box is the user manual and the Stick SSD itself, with no bundled accessories or extra goodies. The Tube T31 features a USB-A port, making it easy to use across many devices. The beating heart of the dongle is a 42mm M.2 SSD, and thankfully, SK Hynix added a little extra cooling, with metal plates on each side and a bonus thermal pad keeping the heat at bay well enough for most users.

    For a size comparison, look at how hefty this thing is compared to a standard Xbox controller.

    The SK Hynix Tube T31 Stick SSD next to a standard Xbox controller.

    It can hardly be called a complaint, but buyers beware: the Tube T31 is beefy for a flash drive. If you’re not drowning in cables and other devices plugged into neighboring ports, it won’t be a big deal, but if you’re fighting for real estate, it might cause an annoying issue. There’s no way around a little thickness with such a hardy SSD inside.

    According to the manufacturer, this plastic piece can survive up to six feet of fall damage, which isn’t too shabby. This little beast isn’t as fragile as it seems at first glance.

    Speeds That Leave Competitors in the Dust

    The data doesn’t lie—the Tube T31 is speedy. In transfer tests, it beat out similar 1TB models from Silicon Power and Kingston and slaughtered smaller 128GB models from SanDisk and Samsung. Maybe a little extra junk in the trunk is a good thing after all.

    Capacity512GB or 1TB
    InterfaceUSB Type-A
    Sequential ReadUp to 1,000MB/s
    Sequential WriteUp to 1,000MB/s
    Weight1.2oz
    Dimensions3.6 inches x 1.2 inches x 0.6 inches
    DurabilityDrop up to 6 ft.
    Warranty Length3 years

    We tested the T31 Stick SSD against the 1TB Kingston DataTraveler Max using DiskBench storage benchmarking tool to test file transfer speed and the CrystalDiskMark tool to test sequential read and write speeds. This was done on a Windows PC desktop with an Intel Core i7-13700KF CPU and an Asus Prime B760-PLUS D4. The system includes an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card and 32GB of DDR4 Corsair Dominator RAM.

    The Tube beat out the DataTraveler with ease in the transfer test, coming in at 300 MB/s faster. When looking at read and write speeds, the Tube came out on top yet again, faster on writes by nearly 100 MB/s and reads by 85 MB/s.

    It’s hard to believe that the Tube is a thumb drive when seeing how it performs. Approaching the speed of an external SSD, this is a great choice for someone wanting a more compact product that can be used across a wide range of different devices. Recently, we’ve packed it full of screenshots from our PlayStation 5, and storing games on it is a breeze.

    Penny-Pinchers Might Still Want to Splurge

    Currently, the Tube T31 is $84.99 on Amazon, down from its list price of $134.99. Similar sticks are priced in the same range, with the SSK 1TB USB Drive coming in at $79.99 and the Silicon Power 1TB DS72 Portable USB priced at $89.99. These prices may seem high for thumb drives, but try to think of them as external SSDs instead—that’s how incredible the technology has come in only a few years.

    The T31 comes in either 512GB or 1TB capacities. We’d like to see some other size options—2TB would be nice. However, this is hardly worth complaining about. We’d also hoped that SK Hynix would stick with the bug theme that the Beetle began, but it just wasn’t meant to be. A 1TB drive is more than enough for the average consumer.

    The SK Hynix Tube T31 Stick SSD on a white counter.

    Like the Beetle X31, SK Hynix offers a 3-year warranty on the Tube T31. This is comparable to warranties offered by other major hardware giants, and unless you plan on abusing your device, this is more than enough time to see any issues corrected. Just don’t drop it from more than six feet high!


    The SK Hynix Tube T31 is yet more proof that the South Korean company’s storage game shouldn’t be underestimated. A little extra bulk is a small price to pay for such a high-quality piece of hardware, and we’ll be using this stick for game storage for years to come.

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