We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. You aren’t going to win any speed competitions with Toshiba’s Portable External Hard Drive; we tested a 200GB version (the device itself comes in capacities ranging from 100GB to 200GB), and the resulting benchmark numbers are nothing for Toshiba to be proud of.
The drive on the inside is Toshiba’s 2.5-inch MK2035GSS. Its rotational speed is a decent 4,200rpm, although that gives way to some glaring deficits in our benchmarks. The drive’s average read speed of 29MB/s puts it well below what other all-in-one external units we’ve tested are capable of. We weren’t expecting to see Raptor-quality performance in these miniature external units, but Toshiba’s device was simply unable to outperform OWC Mercury’s On-the-Go (reviewed in August) in any of our HD Tach tests.
Granted, the Toshiba unit provides 40 more gigabytes of storage than the OWC device, but there’s something to be said for functionality. With Toshiba’s external drive, you get a USB connection. That’s it. In fact, that’s about all there is on the unit at all: no power button, no other connections. We suppose you could always unplug the device when you don’t want to use it, but what about those who want to keep the device permanently connected to their rig? A power switch would be ideal.
We do, however, love that the Toshiba drive doesn’t come with a power brick. All you need to run it are two free USB slots, a great benefit if you’re on your laptop and not near a plug.
Loads of external drives offer FireWire support, an on/off button, one-touch backup—features the Toshiba doesn’t have. We sure can’t think of a compelling reason to pick up this device, as the Toshiba is as slow as it is featureless.
No power brick required, 4200-rpm drive should be fast, in theory.
Slow; lack of standard features. No on/off switch.
OWC Mercury On-The-Go
Toshiba Portable Drive
HD Tach Burst Speed (MB/s)
HD Tach Random Access (ms)
HD Tach Average Read (MB/s)
Best scores are bolded. Both drives were tested using their USB 2.0 connections