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Toshiba StorE Canvio 500GB review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £50
inc VAT

A cheap portable hard disk, but the included software needs refinement

The Toshiba StorE Canvio 500GB is a portable USB3 drive that not only comes with backup software but remote access software too.

The bundled NTI Backup Now EZ program can back up your files to the Canvio and the cloud at the same time, thereby providing another layer of protection against data loss. However, the program only supports Skydrive and NTI Cloud; there’s no support for Dropbox, Google Drive or Box. NTI Cloud isn’t free like Skydrive, but it’s not an expensive service, with the cheapest plan providing 10GB of storage for £3 per month. Scheduled backups are supported, and only files that have changed since the last backup are copied, which saves time and bandwidth. The program’s interface is a little garish, with its psuedo-3D shelves, but it works well enough.

Toshiba StorE Canvio 500GB

The other included program is Pogoplug, which lets you access files stored on your computer from any other internet-connected computer or iOS and Android devices. 10GB of online storage space is provided, so you can keep your most essential files accessible, even if your home computer is turned off or otherwise offline. Pogoplug works well and is useful to have, but it’s a shame it’s not more tightly integrated with the backup software. It’s odd that you can’t use the NTI program to backup files to Pogoplug’s storage space automatically.

Aside from all its bundled software, the Toshiba StorE Canvio is unremarkable. Available in a range of colours and capacities up to 2TB, we tested the white 500GB version. Like the vast majority of other USB3 portable disks, the Canvio’s 2.5in disk has a 5,400rpm spindle speed and 8MB of cache.

Toshiba StorE Canvio 500GB

Large file performance was in line with what we expect to see. They were written at a 94MB/s and read at 99.4MB/s, and both are fast speeds. Small file performance was disappointing. Write speeds were especially slow at just 9.31MB/s, with read speeds only a little better at 17.8MB/s.

Although its small file performance is disappointingly slow, this won’t be a concern if you just want to store large media files such as videos. The 500GB Canvio is also cheap, costing just 10p per gigabyte. The included software is useful, if rough around the edges, but is mainly for novices. NTI Backup Now EZ won’t hold much appeal if you already own and use backup software or if you use online storage services other than Skydrive, while Pogoplug isn’t very useful if you already own a NAS with remote access features.

Toshiba StorE Canvio 500GB

We’d rather have the 500GB version of the Western Digital My Passport Ultra. Although its included software is fiddly to use, its small file performance is far superior and it’s not much more expensive.

Basic Specifications



Hard diskToshiba MQ01ABD100
Formatted capacity465GB
Price per gigabyte£0.10
Disk size2.5in
Power connectorUSB from host
Spindle speed5,400rpm
Seek time12.0ms
Power consumption idleN/A
Power consumption activeN/A

Buying Information

Backup software includedNTI Backup Now EZ
Warrantytwo years RTB

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