Toshiba Stor.E. Canvio 1TB - Distinctive And Stylish

12/5/2012 9:12:31 AM

Toshiba offers an interesting selection in its box of digital delights

Given some of the distinctive and stylish things that both Western Digital and Seagate have done with external drive boxes, I was initially disappointed with the Toshiba Stor.E Canvio. This is a white and black plastic box with Toshiba on it, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a chocolate box with a dark/milk selection.

Description: Toshiba Stor.E. Canvio 1TB

Toshiba Stor.E. Canvio 1TB

That slightly unfair comparison does ignore the numerous vents and slots designed to cool the contents, though it is minimal in many other respects.

One notable omission is the on/off power button, though Toshiba has put feet on two sides so at least you do have a choice of how you orientate it.

Inside is a 1TB Toshiba 3.5" hard drive, which is where it will stay, as this enclosure was never designed to be end user dismantled, unfortunately.

Given that plenty of people make a plastic box with a hard drive inside, I was beginning to wonder why anyone would buy this, and then I connected it up and started to develop a whole new perspective.

The first welcome extra is that the drive comes pre-installed with NTI Backup Now EZ, a simple but an effective backup tool, which costs about $23 if you buy it online.

Where most software you get with external drives does a simple duplication of the My Documents folder as standard, this one can back up the system entirely, along with a file and folder backup option, and even a cloud backup. That last choice does assume you have a cloud to use, but you have the option if that's the case.

Description: Inside is a 1TB Toshiba 3.5" hard drive, which is where it will stay, as this enclosure was never designed to be end user dismantled, unfortunately.

Inside is a 1TB Toshiba 3.5" hard drive, which is where it will stay, as this enclosure was never designed to be end user dismantled, unfortunately.

The caveat to the bundled version of EZ Backup Toshiba supply is that it will only save to this drive, and not network locations or other storage mechanisms. It does, however, warn you when you're running out of space and it can encrypt the backups if you like security protection that goes beyond the boundaries of your physical PC.

This inclusion wasn't the only positive part of the Canvio story; other aspects impressed.

Under testing, this drive is very quick indeed, possibly the fastest external drive I've tested that wasn't an SSD. Using the HD Tune Pro 5.0 File Benchmark, I clocked this unit with a read speed of around 150MB/s and curiously writing was another 5MB/s faster than that. I haven't been able to find out what the physical drive is in here, but I suspect that it's one of the firm's latest 7200rpm mechanisms.

The main caveat is that you can buy the software Toshiba provides with the Canvio and a competing drive cheaper than this, which undermines its proposal a little.

That leaves the performance on offer as the best selling point of this solution, as it's remarkably fast. I generally liked the software and the speed, but Toshiba needs to make its desktop Stor.E range visually more pleasing and more attractively priced if it's to succeed in what is a very competitive market. mm Mark Pickavance

A fast external drive for those with a USB 3.0 port







Required spec:

Windows XP or later, Mac OS X Tiger or later, one free USB port. Mac users will need to reformat the drive








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