The Toshiba Canvio Connect (750GB) ($109.99 list) is a contender as one of the best drives we’ve seen at PC Labs. While it is a fast, capacious hard drive that fits in a coat pocket, it’s the additional extras that make this drive remarkable. The USB 3.0 drive comes with 10GB of cloud storage and a PogoPlug PC utility that makes your files available on the Internet. If you have a need for backup and file availability, then take a look at this drive. It’s a lot easier to setup than a NAS, but lets you get to your files over both the Internet and your local network.
Design and Features
The Canvio Connect is available in a range of colors, including red, white, black, blue, and silver. The 750GB review model seen here is glossy white. It measures about 0.5 by 3.25 by 4.5 inches (HWD), so it fits easily into your pants or coat pocket. The drive is a bit smaller than the LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim ($149) and the G-Technology G-Drive Slim ($109.99), though the Canvio Connect is made of polycarbonate while the G-Drive Slim and LaCie P’9223 are clad in aluminum. The top is adorned by a Toshiba logo and activity LED, and one face on the side has the micro-b USB port for the included USB 3.0 cable. The usual serial/model number sticker is on the bottom, along with four rubbery feet to keep the drive in place on your work surface.
The included 750GB can hold a couple hundred thousand pictures and MP3 files, or a few hundred movie files. This size should also be enough to back up most if not all the files on your laptop’s internal hard drive, especially if you have an SSD-powered ultrabook. The drive comes pre-formatted for NTFS (Windows native format), but Mac users aren’t left in the lurch.
In addition to possibly reformatting the drive to HFS+, as is standard procedure for most other drives, the Canvio Connect comes with Tuxera’s NTFS for Mac utility, so you can natively copy files to the drive. Mac OS X can read NTFS drives, but it can’t write to them without a third party utility. Most drives will make you reformat the drive for use with Macs. Other drives that come with NTFS utilities are the Editors’ Choice for portable hard drives Seagate Backup Plus ($139.99) and Editors’ Choice for wireless media drives Seagate Wireless Plus ($199). Both Seagate drives also have the benefit of a USM interface, which allows users to connect adapters for FireWire, eSATA, and Thunderbolt connectors in addition to USB 3.0.
The included NTI Backup Now EZ is a full backup utility that can save incremental copies of your entire hard drive. This is, of course, provided your internal drive has a capacity of 750GB or less. NTI Backup Now EZ works on Windows PCs, but if you’re a Mac user you can simply reformat the drive HFS+ and use Time Machine for the same level of protection.
The Canvio Connect also comes with a copy of PogoPlug PC, which can be used to serve the files on the drive to your other PCs, Mac, and devices on the Internet. PogoPlugPC also comes with 10GB of cloud storage (up from the 5GB in the retail version of PogoPlugPC). You do have to keep the Canvio Connect connected to an online PC or Mac during the signup process to activate the 10GB could storage or if you want to serve files from the drive to your PogoPlug account. Once signed up, you can access the files in your 10GB cloud storage or the files on your online hard drive from other PCs, Macs, and via apps on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android devices.
The Canvio Connect is a bit slower than other drives we’ve tested lately, but not overly so. For example the Canvio Connect took 25 seconds to copy our standard 1.2GB test folder, but the G-Drive Slim (20 seconds) and Seagate Backup Plus (15 seconds) were quicker. The story is the mixed on the standardized tests, where the Canvio Connect (5,736 points PCMark 5, 1,467 points PCMark7) lagged behind the Seagate Backup Plus on one test (6,463 PCM5, 1,449 PCM7), though it was a smidge faster than the G-Drive Slim on both tests (5,328 PCM5, 1,322 PCM7). Numbers aside, you’ll likely not notice the difference unless you are constantly copying files to the drive, and in that case you’d want a more robust desktop hard drive.
The Toshiba Canvio Connect (750GB) is one of the best pocket drive that we’ve seen. It’s very compact, capacious, and has decent speed. It’s also a good buy when you add the included software like the NTI backup and PogoPlus PC service. However, the speed, innovation, and flexibility of the Seagate Backup Plus allow it to hold on to its Editors’ Choice for portable hard drives.
Compare the Toshiba Canvio Connect (750GB) with several other hard drive side by side.
More hard drive reviews:
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||750 GB|
|Ports||USB, USB 2.0, SATA, USB 3.0|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc