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Nathan Edwards

Jun 24, 2008

Maxtor OneTouch 4

At A Glance

Kang

One of the fastest USB-connected devices weve tested; quiet as a dead mouse.

Kodos

No other connection options, save for USB; no power switch.

We were about to lead off this review with a Nelson Muntz-style “ha-ha” at Seagate, whose 750GB FreeAgent Pro has now fallen from the top of our external storage rankings thanks to Maxtor’s OneTouch 4. And then we remembered that Seagate now owns Maxtor. Whoops.

The OneTouch 4 is easily the fastest non-RAID, USB-based external device we’ve tested. That’s a lot of modifiers, but we don’t want to give credit where it isn’t due. Yes, there are bigger enclosures—Western Digital has terabyte-size external storage devices. And, yes, there are enclosures with more than just a USB connection—just look at Seagate’s own FreeAgent Pro.

But if you don’t have eSATA or FireWire, the OneTouch 4 represents the pinnacle of speedy portable storage. The device comes with included backup software that sucks up nearly 60MB of space on the drive, but it’s space well utilized—the software lets you perform backups and synchronizations in a very unobtrusive manner.

A few design flaws—like the absence of a power switch–keep the OneTouch 4 out of the Storage Hall of Fame, but while we can critique the nitty-gritty, we can’t overlook the speed or software. Coupled together, they make for a great storage device.

BENCHMARKS

WD Passport
Maxtor OneTouch 4
Seagate FreeAgent Pro (usb)
Burst (MB/s) 36.2 37.5 26.3
Random Access (ms) 17.5 14.1 21.5
Average Read (MB/s)
34.7 37.2 25.5
Best scores are bolded in each connection category. All benchmarks taken using HD Tach 3.0.1.0
THE VERDICT

Maxtor OneTouch 4

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