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
  • Read speed
  • Write speed
  • Additional features
  • Value for money


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.

Available from Amazon for £67.43.

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