Toshiba Canvio Desk review: A storage workhorse for desktop users

For each of the options above, users can also further customize, including options to password-protect the backups or using scheduling to automate the backup jobs. I tried all of the backup options with our test machines and they worked as intended. Note, however, that the software currently doesn't support Windows 8; hopefully there will be an update by the time Windows 8 is launched later this month. You can also use other backup software with the Canvio Desk if you don't like NTI Backup Now E.

The NTI Backup Now EZ only works with Windows, but the Canvio Desk itself also works with Macs, including the support for Time Machine. All you need to do is format it in the HFS+ file system.

Performance
I tested the Toshiba Canvio Desk with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and the drive performed well.

When used with USB 3.0, the drive scored 89MBps for writing and 104MBps for reading -- among the top four of USB 3.0-based external drives I've reviewed. When used with USB 2.0, the drive also did decently, with 26MBps, 33MBps for writing and reading, respectively.

The drive passed my tests without any hiccups and remained cool during the entire testing process. I noticed that it was also very quiet.

USB 3.0 external hard-drive performance (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
IoSafe Solo G3
110.98 
109.1 
Seagate Backup Plus
110.1 
90.9 
Lexar JumpDrive Triton
112.19 
90.8 
Toshiba Canvio Desk
103.74 
88.9 
Silicon Power Armor A80
102.7 
87.8 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
104.9 
87.7 
Clickfree C6
103.4 
87.7 
LaCie FastKey
115.5 
87.1 
G-Drive Slim
100.3 
86.7 
Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
103.5 
86.2 
WD My Passport Edge
97.68 
82.6 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
101.9 
82.4 
HP Portable Hard Drive
83.65 
69.4 
LaCie RuggedKey
116.82 
41.7 

USB 2.0 external hard-drive performance (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
G-Technology G-Connect
31.3 
30.9 
LaCie FastKey
36.6 
28.8 
Lexar JumpDrive Triton
33.13 
28.8 
Seagate Backup Plus
33 
28.74 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
36.5 
28.7 
Clickfree C6
33.1 
28.7 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
37.3 
27.7 
LaCie Rugged Key
35.22 
26.6 
Toshiba Canvio Desk
32.71 
25.8 
G-Drive Slim
32.74 
25.6 
WD My Passport Edge
32.69 
25.1 

Conclusion
The Toshiba Canvio Desk is a solid external hard drive for anybody who needs a backup drive for their Windows desktop.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Capacity 3 TB
  • Average Seek Time 14 ms
  • Spindle Speed 5700 rpm
  • Buffer Size 32 MB
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.