Like the name suggests, the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini is the tiniest member of the OneTouch 4 family of external hard drives. The OneTouch 4 Mini is indeed small. Its size and the fact that it's bus-powered make it a perfect companion for your laptop as a backup or storage extension. It's a fast data writer and comes with backup and restore hardware. It comes in three capacities: 80GB ($100), 120GB ($120), and 160GB ($150).
Similar to all hard drives in Maxtor's OneTouch 4 series, the Mini comes with Maxtor SafetyDrill backup software. The software has a document synchronization feature that's very useful when you want to make sure both your desktop and your laptop (or any set of two computers) have the same set of data. Aside from document syncing, you can also set up regular document backups or image your PC's entire hard drive. If the PC's drive should fail, you can restore it with the included restore software (the restore software works with Windows only). While very simple and effective, the Maxtor SafetyDrill software doesn't allow for complete freedom in regard to which folders/partition you want to include in the backup. You can't include other folders in your profile other than My Documents and Desktop, and the hard drive has to be imaged in its entirety where all partitions are included in the backup. Nevertheless, we found the software suitable for most home users for day-to-day backup.
|Drive type||Portable hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0|
|Available capacities||80GB, 120GB, 160GB|
|Capacity of test unit (if applicable)||160GB|
|Dimensions (LWH)||4.9 x .59 x 3.22 inches|
|Notable design features||Rugged, aluminum casing.|
|OSes supported||Windows XP/Vista; Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later|
|Software included||Maxtor SafetyDrill, Maxtor Manager|
|Service and support||5-year warranty; toll-free phone support is available weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. MT; you can also chat or e-mail to tech support; Seagate's site (Maxtor is owned by Seagate) includes FAQs, user guides, data sheets, and a troubleshooter.|
The Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini was very fast in CNET Labs' tests. It wrote our 10GB folder of mixed file types in just 9 minutes, 44 seconds, and read back the same folder in 8 minutes, 59 seconds. Of the portable hard drives we've tested over USB connections, the OneTouch 4 Mini was the fastest. Like the OneTouch 4 Plus, however, it was the slowest at reading, though not by much.
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)