Toshiba Canvio Slim II review: Not so slim, but excellent nonetheless

Other than that, it also comes with a few other software applications, including NTI Backup Now Ez, Pogoplug PC, and HDD Password Tool. The first two are available only for Windows and the last one is available for both Windows and Mac.

Pogoplug PC, which costs $30 if you buy it yourself, turns the drive's host computer into a personal cloud server -- as long as the machine is running and connected to the Internet. It allows remote users to access data, either stored on the Canvio itself or on your computer's internal drive, remotely via mobile app or browser. Generally it works very similarly to the Pogoplus Series 4 adapter. With the Slim II, you also get 10GB of Pogoplug online storage for free if you open a new account.

The Password HDD Tool software that guards the content of the Slim II with a password to prevent unauthorized access. And finally, NTI Backup Now Ez is an easy-to-use and effective backup software that can be set to work by itself once installed.

The NTI Backup Now EZ offers detail information of your backups.
The NTI Backup Now EZ offers detailed information of your backups. Dong Ngo/CNET

In all, the Canvio Slim II's bundled software adds a lot more value to the drive. And if you don't need or want to use it, you'll still like this portable drive for its performance.

Performance
I tested the Toshiba Canvio Slim II with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and was impressed.

CNET Labs external hard drive USB 3.0 performance scores
(In megabits per second; longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Toshiba Canvio Slim II
118.49 
118.8 
WD My Passport Ultra
117.87 
118.5 
Silicon Power Armor A15
112.09 
113 
IoSafe Solo G3
110.98 
109.1 
Canvio Connect
97.1 
97.4 
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 
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 

When used with USB 3.0, the drive scored some 118MBps for writing and reading, topping the current standings of platter-based portable drives. I've seen faster USB 3.0 drives but they either used special caching or a solid-state internal drive as their storage.

With USB 2.0, the drive offered exactly the same speed as its older brother, the Canvio Connect, registering 27MBps and 33MBps for writing and reading, respectively. These were about the average among USB 2.0 drives.

CNET Labs USB 2.0 external hard drive performance scores
(In megabits per second; longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
G-Technology G-Connect
31.3 
30.9 
Seagate Backup Plus
33 
28.74 
WD My Passport Ultra
33.67 
28.4 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
37.3 
27.7 
Toshiba Canvio Slim II
32.58 
26.5 
Silicon Power Armor A15
32.64 
26.4 
Toshiba Canvio Desk
32.71 
25.8 
G-Drive Slim
32.74 
25.6 
WD My Passport Edge
32.69 
25.1 

The drive worked very well during my testing and remained very cool, even during heavy loads.

Conclusion
Fast, compact and bunched with useful software, the The Toshiba Canvio Slim II is an excellent portable drive for anyone who wants to have another 500GB or 1TB of extra storage handy. The drive's smart status light is also helpful for those unsure of which USB they're using, USB 3.0 or USB 2.0.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Capacity 500 GB
  • Average Seek Time 12 ms
  • Spindle Speed 5400 rpm
  • Buffer Size 8 MB