Holiday Buyer's Guide 2005

External Storage Too: Maxtor One Touch III

To make a long story short, the Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo edition is a stackable, hot-swappable, cross-platform compatible, RAID 0/1 capable, plug-and-play super storage device. It’s also been designed to look and feel like an industrial art major’s pet project.

Apparently, the OneTouch III is tailored to Mac users out of the box : it arrives pre-formatted for Macintosh computers (although it may be easily reformatted for Windows), sports the latest Oxford 942 chipset, and - for all those Mac enthusiasts who came up with their own solutions - can even boot a Mac directly from its storage volume. On the physical interface side, the OneTouch III provides the fastest in FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394a) capability as well as half-speed FireWire 400Mbps, as well as USB 2.0 480Mbps.

Unfortunately, there is no provision to make the OneTouch III network accessible - a Gigabit Ethernet interface would make a nice addition to fully round out its feature set. But a fair amount of flexibility is achieved through its support for FireWire and USB, and anyway, Maxtor has a separate line of networked storage devices to meet such needs.

Under the hood, the OneTouch III Turbo uses paired parallel ATA drives with 7200 RPM spindles and 8 MB caches. Maxtor improved acoustic output levels for quieter operation by implementing a self-adjusting cooling mechanism. They’ve also included an inner disk drive casing for each drive, with special shock mounts to increase overall reliability.

The OneTouch III Turbo is ultra portable, for techies-on-the-go. Weighing in at only 5.8 lb, it’s 10 pounds lighter than the Buffalo TeraStation. It’s also much smaller, with dimensions of 5.4 x 3.9 x 8.5" (13.7 x 9.9 x 21.6 cm), so even small-boned techies can lug a OneTouch III around with relative ease.

Bundled software includes the ever-popular EMC Dantz Retrospect backup and restore program, which supports full and incremental backup batch jobs, a system rollback feature to restore previous known-good states (PC only), and new synchronization tools to keep data consistent among two or more personal computers. Maxtor also throws in its patented DriveLock security feature, which ensures that password protected files remain protected even should the entire unit be stolen.

As always, the OneTouch III lives up to its name with a unique, one-touch button solution for easy, instant backup scheduling. According to Maxtor, the OneTouch III Turbo will be available this December in 600 GB and 1 TB capacities.

The OneTouch III Turbo is an ideal gift solution for professional or creative types who work with high-resolution video formats, but is suitable for anyone who needs voluminous storage and easy accessibility. The MSRP of the 600 GB unit is $550, while the 1 TB model will cost you $900.

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