There are a number of different portable hard drives on the market today, and we here at GadgetReview are certainly no strangers to them or their usefulness. I recently reviewed a model that made its own WiFi network to transmit data to your mobile devices, and while it was a nice feature, the drive was ultimately hampered by it because it would kill your ability to use any internet, and the transfer speeds left much to be desired. Hitachi’s offering into the world of ultra portable hard drives has no WiFi feature, and ends up not missing anything because of it.
The Touro external hard drives are pretty nice to look at – while Seagate drives have sharp corners, and angles to draw attention to them, the Hitachi Touro brand seems more focused on rounded edges to make it look as though the drive is flowing better. It might seem something silly to comment on, but on a desk full of hard corners, the round edges really stood out as something different. While that doesn’t affect performance, it does affect your ability to just drop this drive in your pocket and go. I’ve tried to do that exact thing with some other so called portable drives, and have ended up jabbing my upper leg more times than I can count. Not so with the Touro Mobile Pro.
In fact, the Touro Mobile Pro really looks like a large iPhone 4 – black plastic on the top and bottom, with a band of metal around the center (no lens for a camera though, or home button…. or touch screen….. okay, maybe it’s not completely like an iPhone 4, but it is damn well close). One think about the Touro’s case (and really any gloss black case) is that it sucks up your fingerprints. I resorted to only grabbing it by the metal band, because I got tired of having to clean my own smudges off of it – I’m a little OCD like that.
Fortunately, this drive isn’t all just eye candy. Sporting a platter that spins at 7,200 rpms, the Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro is a zippy little thing with good performance. Couple that with the fact that it connects via USB 3.0, and you have a drive ready to transfer things to and from itself at speeds bordering ridiculous. The drive is noticeably missing both FireWire and eSATA connections however, and while you can get special “bottom” pieces for those connectors on the Seagate model I reviewed, you can’t do that on the Touro Mobile Pro. While thise connections aren’t super important to most people, the ones that do want to use them must turn elsewhere.
Another issue is that the Touro Mobile Pro only comes with a max of 750 GB of storage (there is a 500 GB model available as well). I think Hitachi realized that this is a relatively small amount (I remember when I thought 1 GB was huge – how times have changed), and included 3 GB of cloud storage free with every drive. While it may not be the absolute best solution to the issue, it’s at least something extra on top – and who doesn’t like getting extra when they buy something? The drive can also be used on a Windows based PC, or on a Mac – however you’ll need to reformat it for a Mac as it is already set up for the NTFS system. The drive also comes with a pre-loaded backup software that works well enough, but I think every other external hard drive I’ve reviewed comes with some sort of backup software – although to be fair “Hitachi Backup” does work better than some others.
The Bottom Line: The Touro Mobile Pro external hard drive from Hitachi is a fine solution if you need to take some files with you from place to place, and while it has less connection options than its competitors it also has a lessened price tag, which makes it a good trade off.
- Rounded edges mean that you won’t hurt yourself leaving it in your pocket
- 7,200 RPM platter is nice and fast for a drive of this kind
- The included backup software really works nicely, and could become your backup planner of choice
- The distinct lack of a FireWire or eSATA connector is very noticeable when you’re used to them being there
- A maximum of 750 GB of storage isn’t super small, but it is smaller than the competition
- I would honestly have preferred a matte finish because I’m so OCD about fingerprints on my stuff