Tech Review: Toshiba Canvio Slim 500 GB External Hard-drive

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 What is it? The Toshiba Canvio Slim is an external hard-drive that can be used for sharing files, storing photos or making a backup of an entire internal drive.

The Toshiba Canvio Slim External Hard Drive with included SATA to USB cable.

The Toshiba Canvio Slim External Hard Drive with included SATA to USB cable.

The Good One of the first things you’ll notice when you take this HDD out of the box is it’s superb aesthetic design. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was black and gray, I’d say it was Apple inspired. The drive is very thin, aluminum brushed and would complement any kind of ultrabook. The aluminum allows it to dissipate heat well (something I’ll get to later) when you do prolonged writing operations. It uses USB 3.0 for fairly fast transfers (don’t worry it is backwards compatible with USB 2.0). It’s also very light weight, making it easy to carry around.

How does the Canvio size up?

How does the Canvio size up?

When I first got the drive, I made two partitions for it: one was for backing up a disk image of my PC and another for just file storage (similar to what people use a flash drive for). I was also considering making another Linux partition for those times when you just need a *nix command line to get something working, but haven’t gotten around to that yet. To make a back up I used Windows’ back up tool and it took approximately 20 minutes to load 126 GB of data. So far, I haven’t had any reliability issues, such as data corruption. The drive comes with some Toshiba software for backing up data already installed, but I ignored it. The Bad I’m not too thrilled about the included SATA to USB cable for connecting the drive to the PC, as it is very short and stiff. Now I understand a long cable might increase latency, but the stiffness can sometimes be annoying. For example, if you want to place the drive in a certain place, the cable would move it elsewhere until it “settles.” The SATA end of the connector seems a little flimsy to me, too, so I try to be as careful with it as possible. It’s not that it is weak per say, but a small part of the connector sticks out and the the connection itself acts as a pivot point. What I mean is that it is not as snug of a fit as I would like.

The SATA connector on the side o the hard drive.

The SATA connector on the side o the hard drive.

As I mentioned earlier, the aluminum was good choice for the design because the drive does get hot when doing prolonged writes. You’ll notice then when you back up a disk image with Windows’ back up utility. When I did my first back up I was surprised by how warm the drive was; it was like picking up a bowl of soup. The Bottom Line The Toshiba Canvio Slim is an excellent drive and definitely delivers what it promises. The light-weight, gorgeous design goes well with  most modern laptops. Just be careful how you handle the SATA cable and expect it to get pretty hot when you use it for prolonged periods of time.

Doesn't it remind you of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Doesn’t it remind you of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

What are your thoughts? How did I do for my first review? What did you like, but more importantly, what did I suck at?

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