Mobile and Attractive: External Hard Disks from Maxtor and Seagate

Maxtor OneTouch 250 GB

The OneTouch does not have a great deal in common with the first generation of external hard disks. We wish to emphasize this, as the access times of approximately 20 ms (with both USB and FireWire) remain higher than those of the competition. The Western Digital, at 14 ms, is nearly as fast as a standard WD2500 and the Seagate, at 15 ms, is just marginally higher.

The Maxtor unit is based on the 250 GB DiamondMax Plus 9 (7,200 rpm and 8 MB cache), whose fluid bearings make it very quiet in use.

Elegantly finished in aluminum, the appearance of the OneTouch easily outshines the competition's plastic boxes. The undoubted benefit of increased cooling performance comes with a weight penalty: at 1.43 kg, the OneTouch is heavier than the Seagate, making it less suitable for frequent fliers.

The case is fluted at the top and fitted with runners on the bottom which allow several OneTouch drives to be neatly stacked. Maxtor also supplies a blue stand for the drive if you want it to sit vertically. The blue stand goes well with the color of the end caps.