Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro portable drive looks sexy, enough that some would buy it just because of its look. But the drive's appeal doesn't stop there. Supporting USB 3.0 and based on an internal drive that spins at 7,200rpm, the drive also offers decent performance. On top of that, Hitachi bundles 3GB of online storage with it in case you want to back up important documents online.
The Touro isn't perfect, missing support for FireWire and eSATA. It also caps at just 750GB of storage, half that of some other portable drives on the market, such as the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable. At a street price of just around $90 for 750GB (or $75 for the 500GB version), however, the Touro still makes a very good companion for those who need extra storage to use on the go.
For more storage and better flexibility, we also recommend the drives in Seagate's GoFlex family.
|Drive type||USB portable hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 2.0, USB 3.0|
|Size (LWH)||4.96 inches by 3.15 inches by .6 inch|
|Available capacities||500GB, 750GB|
|Capacity of reviewed unit||500GB|
|OSes supported||Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS 10.5 or later|
|Software included||Hitachi Backup for PC and Mac|
Housed in a chassis that's made of smooth black plastic (top and bottom) and aluminum (sides), the Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro looks like a jewelry box. In a way, it resembles an iPhone 4, though much larger. Still, the portable drive is relatively compact for one that's based on a 2.5-inch internal hard drive, and feels very sturdy in your hand. Although you might not want to hold it too often, as the casing also happens to be a fingerprint magnet.
The portable drive comes with just one Mini-USB 3.0 cable that's used both to transfer data and to draw power from the computer's USB port. It works with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. For the best performance, the former is recommended. Unlike similar portable drives in Seagate's GoFlex family that offer any kind of connection type via adapter swapping, the Touro comes with just one Mini-USB 3.0 port on its top side. Near this port is a blue indicator light, visible only when lit up, that shows the power and data activity status.
The Touro is preformatted using the NTFS file system (Windows) and all you have to do is plug it into a computer's USB port to use it. It can also be easily reformatted to work with Macs. The drive comes with the simple yet robust Hitachi Backup software for use with both PCs and Macs. Hitachi Backup can back up the entire profile of the current user (per default setting) or any folders of your choosing. Once the folders are picked, the backup will work via a single click. You can also set it to back up automatically on a schedule.
We find that this is indeed a viable backup solution for PC. On a Mac, we'd recommend reformatting it into the HSF+ file system and using Time Machine for backups.
In addition to the backup software, the Touro comes with a free 3GB online backup account, which the Hitachi Backup software can perform cloud backups to. While 3GB isn't much, it's large enough for many text documents, such as Word or PDF files.
The Touro Mobile Pro met our expectations in terms of performance for a USB 3.0 portable drive. We tested it with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and it performed on par with its peers.
In tests with USB 3.0, the drive registered 86.2MBps and 103.5MBps for writing and reading, respectively. In test with USB 2.0, the drive scored 28MBps for writing and 33MBps for reading. This is quite good performance.
The Touro Mobile Pro remains cool and quiet even during extended and heavy tasks, and almost doesn't vibrate at all.
Service and support
Hitachi backs the Touro Mobile Pro with a two-year warranty, which is rather short for a storage device. The company's Web site holds all kinds of support information, from how to format the drive to how to return a defective unit.
The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro portable drive makes a very good companion if you need to carry a large amount of data around with you, especially if you have a laptop that supports USB 3.0.