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Toshiba Portable External Hard Drive, 320 GB

Convenience Storage By Buffalo And Toshiba
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We’re not sure if we like the stripes, but the surface and finish is much nicer than Buffalo’s.

Other vendors have been in the external storage market much longer than Toshiba, but the Japanese company tries to score by having the nicer product. Indeed, the finish of the Portable External Hard Drive is much better than what we saw with Buffalo’s Mini Station. And the Toshiba drive is lighter as well, coming in at 6.25 ounces (178 g) versus almost 8 ounces (224 g). The cable, however, cannot be wrapped around the device as nicely, and Toshiba failed to include a carrying bag or a similar housing to accommodate the drive and the cable. We found it nice that this product will always work reliably with a single USB 2.0 connection thanks to the efficient Toshiba hard drive.

The surface is black and glossy, and you can see that the connector fits well into the opening. The Japanese designed hardware clearly shows greater perfection.

Toshiba offers quicker access time (17.8 ms vs. 19.1 ms), but less throughput. The Buffalo product with TurboUSB—which is supposed to be much faster—is only somewhat faster at an average of almost 32 MB/s, while Toshiba stays at 29.7 MB/s. In both cases, the hard drives could provide data at least twice as fast as USB 2.0 allows. Write performance is equal at almost 27 MB/s.

Toshiba provides a quick installation guide, which is sufficient for this product, and a USB data cable. The drive works with the 500 mA provided by USB 2.0 ports and hence does not require auxiliary power.

Toshiba wasn’t very creative with selecting a product name. Almost every external drive is just called Portable External Hard Drive.

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