Perhaps Toshiba's marketing department has run out of ideas, but their new portable hard drive bears a very boring name: Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive. Happily, the drive does offer an interesting, distinctive look with a rugged antishock aluminum casing. It looks like it can take a beating and is suitable for those who are constantly on the go with a little bit of roughhousing tendency. It's not the most even performer, though, with fast read speeds and slow write speeds. If you're looking for a fast, flashy drive, check out the Iomega eGo. And at $180 for the 160GB version, the Toshiba drive is a bit more expensive than the Iomega one.
|Drive type||Portable, external hard drive|
|Connection options||USB 2.0|
|Available capacities||100GB, 120GB, 160GB, 200GB|
|Capacity of test unit (if applicable)||200GB|
|Drive speed||5,400 RPM|
|Dimensions (LWH)||5.6 x 3.5 x 0.94 inches|
|Notable design features||Durable casing|
|OSes supported||Windows XP/Vista; Mac OS X 10.3.9|
|Software included||NTI Shadow Software CD for backup|
|Service and Support||One-year warranty; toll-free phone support available weekdays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT; online support via Web form; user guides available online.|
On the CNET Labs' test bench, the Toshiba took 17 minutes, 42 seconds to finish writing our 10GB test folder that contains of a variety of file types. On the read test, the drive was much faster, taking only 8 minutes, 56 seconds to copy the 10GB folder back to our test bed. The Toshiba's write score makes it one of the slower portable hard drives we've tested recently, but its read score puts it on par with the competition.
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
For data backup, the Toshiba drive comes bundled with NTI Shadow. You can set it to do a continuous backup, interval backup (every X minutes or hours), or a scheduled backup (every night at 9 p.m., for example). Also, the drive can work with both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 ports, but it's likely that a single connection to a USB 1.1 port won't provide enough power. For this situation, Toshiba provides a dual-connector cable, which requires two ports on your PC. We appreciated the durable casing and shock-mounting, particularly because it's a portable drive.