Toshiba Canvio Slim II (1TB) review

The Toshiba Canvio Slim II is a good all-around portable drive, with lots of storage space and easy compatibility.
Photo of Toshiba Canvio Slim II (1TB)

The Toshiba Canvio Slim II offers almost everything I want in a portable hard drive. It’s sizeable storage-wise, thanks to a 1TB 7,200rpm spinning drive, speedy thanks to USB 3.0, and offers a surprising number of features for a product with such a minimalist aesthetic. Whether you’re toting around a media collection, storing your end-of-semester project, or pulling up a presentation in a board meeting, the Toshiba Canvio Slim II will provide the performance you want, and it’ll look good doing it.

Design and Features
This may be external drive design at its most refined. The Canvio Slim II has a compact design that sandwiches the hard drive between brushed aluminum front and back. The brushed aluminum is adorned only with a subtle Toshiba logo etched in the upper right corner, and a strip of black metal running around the outside edge of the enclosure. On the top of the drive is a USB 3.0 connector, and a small blue LED indicator light on one corner lets you know that the drive is powered on. It’s elegant in its simplicity, comparable to the design-conscious LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim and MacBook-inspired Seagate Slim for Mac.

Inside the brushed aluminum body of the Canvio Slim II is a 1TB 5,400rpm spinning hard drive. The drive is formatted in NTFS for use with Windows PCs, but Mac users don’t need to worry about reformatting the drive as it comes with NTFS for Mac drivers, letting you use the drive across the different OSes. The one hitch is that Apple’s TimeMachine won’t work with NTFS, so you will need to reformat it if you plan on backing up your Mac to the drive.

You’ll also find a few other extras preinstalled on the drive. NTI Backup Now EZ is an automated backup that lets you schedule regular backup of one or more folders, taking some of the hassle out of backing up important files and remove the headache of doing a full system backup when it isn’t necessary. Whether you want to back up your PC or a few files, NTI Backup Now EZ also lets you add encryption (up to 256-bit) for added security. Also on the drive is Pogoplug for PC, which lets you add cloud-based file access, media streaming, and file sharing; Pogoplug’s service normally costs $30 on its own with 5GB of cloud storage, but Toshiba throws it in for free and bumps the cloud storage up to 10GB. Toshiba adds an HDD Password Tool that lets you password-protect the drive, and also covers the Canvio Slim II with a three-year warranty.

Performance
The Canvio Slim II offers potent performance for a spinning drive, and any shortcomings are fairly well made up for by the sizable 1TB capacity of the drive. In PCMark 7 the Canvio Slim II score 1,488 points and completed our 1.22GB file transfer test in 18 seconds. By comparison the Editors’ Choice Seagate Backup Plus completed the same file transfer test in 15 seconds, but finished PCMark7 with 1,449 points. Toshiba’s previous offering, the Canvio Connect, was slower (25 seconds) but scored well (1,467 points), while the stylish solid-state drive of the LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 Slim transferred our test file in a zippy 13 seconds. All told, the performance of each of these drives is quite similar, with little discernible difference in day to day use.

The Toshiba Canvio Slim II puts a formidable 1TB of storage in your pocket thanks to a compact minimalist design that doesn’t skimp on style. The brushed aluminum design is elegant, and the USB 3.0 connection speedy, with performance that rivals some of the best drives we’ve reviewed.

Specifications
Rotation Speed 5400 rpm
System Type Desktop
Type External
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 1 TB
Ports USB 3.0

Verdict
The Toshiba Canvio Slim II is a good all-around portable drive, with lots of storage space and easy compatibility with PCs and Macs alike.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
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