Toshiba’s Canvio Alu range of USB 3.0 hard drives are available in a variety of colours (red, silver, black, blue and gold) and capacities (500GB, 1TB, 2TB or 2.5TB). In my case I have the silver 1TB model. Not surprisingly, as the name suggests, these have an aluminium case and contain a 2.5″ drive.
The drive looks very nice, seemingly in 2 pieces, with a thin cutout running all the way around the outside. A USB connector is present on the back and a short USB cable is included. A thin slit at the rear of the top contains a blue LED status light – considering this blends, otherwise, extremely well with a Mac, I find it weird that they didn’t use a white LED to match the design further.
The drive comes pre-formatted as NTFS, which is an odd choice. Formatting as exFAT would have provided compatibility with both Windows and Mac. Included on the drive is a user guide and a (Windows only) backup utility.
Read speeds are 116 MB/s for sequential files and 42 MB/s for large random files and 0.5 MB/s for small random files. Write speeds are 114 MB/s for sequential, 21 MB/s for large random and 0.27 MB/s for small random. These compare well to other drives I’ve tested, although the last figure is still quite low – others drives were usually 1 – 1.1 MB/s.
Packaging consists of a glossy outer box containing a plastic blister which the drive is held in. The cable, although held separately, is also in a plastic bag with cable tie around it. A small leaflet is included which has links to the various methods of support in different countries. It’s all a little over-blown and not particularly environmentally friendly, particular the high use of plastics – if the cable is held, contained with the plastic box why would you have need for an additional bag around it, for instance?
Toshiba Canvio Alu
This portable drive looks very nice and blends in well with my MacBook Pro (although it’s a genuine shame that they didn’t use a white LED). Both read and write speeds are good (although nothing outstanding), the price is reasonable and there’s a lot of choice too, with lots of colours and capacities available.
Packaging is a bit excessive but, otherwise, there’s a little else bad to say about this. A highly recommended storage solution.