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Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini review: Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini

Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
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 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read

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).


Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini

The Good

Fast write speeds; comes with backup and restore software; compact size makes it easy to tote around; generous warranty.

The Bad

Restore software doesn't work with Macs; backup software is too basic for power users.

The Bottom Line

The Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini is a great option for working on the go, with fast write speeds as well as backup and restore software.

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
Drive speed 5,400rpm
Cache 8MB
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.

Portable hard drive read/write tests
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini (USB)
Iomega eGo (USB)
Note: * Drive name (tested connection)


Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 7Support 8