Toshiba – 500GB External Portable Hard Drive review

compact, stylish solution for data storage in the home
Photo of Toshiba – 500GB External Portable Hard Drive
£120

With digital media playing such an important role in the modern home, it’s important to have a couple of backup devices handy to avoid the annoyance and potential replacement expense involved in losing data.

Additionally, games consoles and playback devices such as media streamers may not offer internal storage, or that provided may be insufficient, in which case you’ll need a suitable way to improve the situation to get the most from your hardware.

Toshiba’s new 500GB External Portable Hard Drive would be ideal for most of these uses. It’s a palm-sized unit with a smooth black finish and coloured wave design, available in ‘Gecko Green’, ‘Hot Rod Red’, ‘Carbon Grey’, ‘Electric Blue’ and ‘Frost White’, so it should fit in nicely with the rest of a home cinema setup in terms of aesthetics.

It feels a little more hollow than we’d expected, but is consequently pretty light and comes with shock protection to keep data safe in the event of it being knocked or dropped. In addition, two rubberised feet prevent the drive from slipping about on a surface and offer a bit more stability when it’s spinning.

There are no controls on the exterior and a single option for connectivity, that being USB 2.0 via the short cable supplied. This should work out to be a tidy solution for most people, who have no need for a lengthy cable to add to the mess of wires that’s likely to be continually entangling itself behind a TV or PC. We had no problems connecting it to a range of gadgets and found data transfer rates to be typical of a USB 2.0 drive, 1GB taking around a minute to transfer across.

There’s not a lot else to say except for the fact that it’s a tidy, versatile solution that would appeal to those looking for a compact drive to allow for digital media storage and playback on one of the many media devices currently doing the rounds. With no software, shortcut controls or alternative connectivity supplied, though, there seems little reason to recommend it to those looking for a more conventional backup solution for a computer.

Company: Toshiba


Verdict
The Toshiba 500GB drive distinguishes itself from the competition through its visual design, but aside from this there's nothing particularly special about it and, being priced at just above average for this sort of product, there's no real reason to offer a strong recommendation. Having said that, it's a perfectly capable device and should appeal to those who appreciate a bit of aesthetic value in their peripherals.