I wouldn't call the Toshiba Canvio Slim II skinny, but that's my only major complaint about the new USB 3.0 portable external hard drive.
The drive inherits all the goodies that come with its older brother, the compact Toshiba Canvio Connect, including great backup software, Mac NTFS driver -- plus it's now the fastest platter-based USB 3.0 portable drive I've tested. Design-wise, the storage device also looks good and feels sturdy, thanks to its aluminum casing.
In all, at the current price of around $100 for 1TB or $75 for 500GB, the Toshiba Canvio Slim II is an easy recommendation for anybody who needs a quick storage solution, either to expand their laptop capacity or to backup important data. For more choices on great portable drives, including those that are slimmer than the Slim II, check out this list.
Compact, sturdy and well-thought-out design
Measuring 4.2 x 3 x 0.5 inches, the Slim II is is very compact. It's not the slimmest drive on the market, however. The Seagate GoFlex Slim that came out two years ago is a bit thinner at .32-inch.
In my trials, the drive worked with all USB 3.0 ports and USB 2.0 ports without problems. It has one interesting feature, which is its status light in one corner. This light turns on when the drive is plugged in, turns off when it's not in use, and and flashes to indicate data activity. The color of the light changes to white if you use it with a USB 2.0 port and to blue when it's plugged into a USB 3.0 port. This is very helpful for folks who don't know which type of USB port they're using.
|Drive type||2.5-inch external USB hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0, USB 3.0|
|Size (LWH)||4.2 inches x 3 inches x 0.5-inch|
|Weight||5.4 ounces |
|Available capacities||500GB, 1TB |
|Capacity of test unit||1TB|
|OSes supported||Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS 10.4.6 or higher|
|Software included||NTFS driver (Mac) , Password Tools (Windows and Mac), NTI Backup Now Ez (Windows), Pogoplug@PC (Windows) |
Helpful bundled software
Similar to the Canvio Connect, the Canvio Slim II comes preformatted in NTFS, so if you're using it with a Windows computer, all you have to do is plug it in. On a Mac, you'll need to install Tuxera NTFS for Mac, included on the drive itself, before you can write to the drive. After that, you can also use the drive to back up your Mac using Time Machine.
Other than that, it also comes with a few other software applications, including NTI Backup Now Ez, Pogoplug PC, and HDD Password Tool. The first two are available only for Windows and the last one is available for both Windows and Mac.