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

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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.

At its list price of $80 for the 320GB HDDR320E03X model, Toshiba ends up charging you about $0.56 per GB. That's actually a tie for first with the SimpleTech Signature Mini and the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini. You can find all of those drives for less than their listed prices, so in real world terms the cost per gigabyte is actually even a bit better than that.

Performance tests (in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Portable External Hard Drive (USB 2.0)
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini
Maxtor Black Armor (USB 2.0)

On the CNET Labs' test bench, the Toshiba had very good read speeds, but horrendous write speeds, as you can see from our test results. Compared with the well-balanced SimpleTech drive, which offers the same amount of storage for the dollar, that performance gap makes it impossible to recommend the Toshiba.

The Toshiba USB External hard drive comes with a limited three-year warranty available within the United States, United States Territories, and Puerto Rico. Toshiba has a technical support line for storage available weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). You can also find FAQs and other help on Toshiba's Web site.

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