Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive review: Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive

CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
  • Overall: 5.8
  • Setup and ease of use: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 4.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Pricing Unavailable

The Good Large capacity for a travel drive; very compact and light; USB 2.0 powered; ships with backup software; cool and quiet.

The Bad No FireWire; very slow write speeds.

The Bottom Line The Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive is an attractive, lightweight drive with a decent price point for a drive of this capacity. Its size makes it great for travel, but the write speeds aren't up to par with other drives we've seen. We can't recommend it due to its lack of performance.

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Editors' note: The final rating of this review has been updated to reflect a discrepancy in calculation. None of the individual scores have changed.

The $180 320GB Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (HDDR320E03X) is the second drive from Toshiba we've reviewed bearing the Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive name. The design has been updated in this new version, but unfortunately, the performance remains just as uninspiring as the original's. Its 320GB capacity offers plenty of room for photos, music, and videos, and its convenient size lets you stow it in a jacket pocket. However, unless you really like its design, we can't recommend this drive because you can find faster models with similar capacities for less.

The small, sleek, lightweight device is not much larger or heavier than an iPod Touch at 0.65 inch high, 3.2 inches wide, 5 inches deep, and weighing just under half a pound. All of the accessories you need come in the packaging, including a USB cable, backup software, warranty information, and a quick install guide. The only thing we wish it had is a FireWire port. Color options include Gecko Green, Hot Rod Red, and Carbon Grey, and Toshiba also offers 160GB and 250GB models, in addition to the 320GB version.

Drive type External hard drive
Connector options USB 2.0
Available capacities 120GB, 250GB, 320GB
Capacity of test unit 320GB
Drive size 2.5-inch
Drive speed 5,400rpm
Cache 8MB
Dimensions (HWD) 0.65x3.2x5 inches
OS's supported Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later
Software included NTI Shadow Backup Software

As is common with other portable hard drives, this model has an internal shock sensor to help protect your data from low impact drops. Toshiba doesn't specify a height from which the drive could be dropped, so we dropped it from 4 feet onto a hard surface, plugged the drive back in and it worked fine. NTI Shadow backup software also comes preloaded on the drive. Once installed you can schedule automatic backups that run in the background on systems using Windows 2000, XP, or, Vista and on Macs with OS X 10.3.9 or later.

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Where to Buy

Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive

Part Number: HDDR320E03X Released: Jan 7, 2008

MSRP: $89.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 7, 2008
  • Form Factor 2.5"
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type USB 2.0
  • Capacity 320 GB