Gadgets g-drive-slim

Published on March 15th, 2012 | by Greg


Hitachi: Go Slim Or Go Big This Spring

You might think that hard drives and disk storage are less than sexy. And sometimes, they are- internal hard disks are pretty similar, and don’t vary much in terms of features or capabilities. But external drives differ in many ways from one another, and not just in packaging, design, and casing. We have looked at many over the years, and they generally fall into two categories: lower capacity, smaller portable drives, and those meant for sitting on a desktop and offering serious space.

Hitachi offers both kinds, amongst many others. We sat down with them at CES and got a good look at their upcoming product lines- we love their G-Drives for incredibly sexy looks, and have even put their internal 3 TB drives through the paces. Most recently, we’ve been checking out another of their 3 terabyte offerings, the Touro Desk Pro, which is available in one and two terabyte models as well. We liked the stackable design, and the switchable horizontal or vertical orientation. Plus. this one comes with USB 3.0 built-in; it’s backwards compatible with USB 2.0 of course. Those who need Firewire should look elsewhere, but everyone else can enjoy the great transfer rates (we got 60-100 MB/s!).

The Touro Desk Pro line is slightly more expensive than some competitors, but has a reputation for pretty solid durability- and comes with cloud storage options. You’ll get 3GB of storage free, and can upgrade to a paid account for up to 250GB. Plus there are iPad and Android apps for the shared online backup. One oddity is that it lacks a power button, meaning that you’ll need to simply unplug it to turn it off. The drive does run quietly though, which is nice, and cables are included- though they are fairly short. Overall, this is a solid contender, a capable entry in the external multi-terabyte category. At $200 and available widely, we did like the piano black, which was sleek if a little plasticky.

Hitachi also sent their G-Drive Slim, a tiny, lightweight 500 gigabyte drive. Their Touro Mobile Pro line offers USB 3.0, so if you need the faster bus speed, you’ll want to look at them instead- the G-Drives only run USB 2.0. But they are meant as sleek companions for the Apple Macbook Air, with similar styling and an aluminum body, so the interface choice makes sense. Plus, it was Time Machine ready, and Mac formatted.

Based on the ultra-thin Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500, you won’t need any external power cable for this one, which is nice. Free unlimited technical support likely won’t be necessary, and the three-year warranty is nice in case of any issues. All in all, this is one of the better portable drives for Macs that we’ve seen and used, in a form factor that is sexy and unique. Expect to spend a bit over $100, a reasonable price premium for the lighter weight and smaller form factor.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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