Backup drives are usually pretty bland and uninteresting, consisting of just a drive mounted inside a plastic shell. Not this time! Maxtor has managed to tickle our Geek-spot by wedging two 500GB drives inside a sexy rubber lunchbox, and adding a dash of RAID for spice. It all amounts to one hell of a drive, and it’s the new end-all, be-all backup drive as far as we’re concerned.
The Turbo’s small footprint belies its behemoth capacity, which totals 930GB formatted, compliments of two Maxtor DiamondMax 11 500GB drives. While having two drives instead of one isn’t that exciting on its own, we were stoked to learn that you can run the drives in either RAID 0 (striped) for maximum capacity, or RAID 1 (mirrored) for redundancy. You set up the array using the included software, which we found extremely easy to use. Note that if you run RAID 1, there’s no way to swap out a drive in the event of a disk failure. Maxtor will send you a new unit, to which you would copy your data, and then you’d return the defective unit to Maxtor.
The Turbo’s configuration utility sports some options we love—such as the ability to password-protect access to the drive in case of theft, the option to reduce seek times for quieter operation (although you can’t adjust the integrated fan’s speed), and the ability to easily tell the drives to spin down after a certain period of time.
The included backup software is Dantz Retrospect, but Maxtor has added a custom front-end that makes the software simple to use. You can make images of your drives, duplicate key files, or just keep certain folders synced with your backup drive at all times.
We’re impressed. Way impressed. If Maxtor added a media reader, a USB port, and silenced the fan, this drive would have been worthy of a Kick Ass award.
Month Reviewed: May 2006