With the constantly increasing volume of personal data, the requirement for a higher capacity portable storage will always be in demand. The capacity of portable storage drives has been evolving greatly and now with the implementation of the super-speed USB 3.0 interface, they are faster and roomier than ever before. These hard drives are as fast as internal hard drives, which means you can now transfer your data to and from the USB storage at blazing speeds. There are a variety of drives available with respect to capacity and interface types for performance while some have bulky and rugged shells for data safety. However, those who value speed and capacity over other things prefer to have something aesthetically appealing and smaller for higher portability. Toshiba has managed to introduce one of the slimmest portable drives you might have ever seen around. The Canvio Slim was tested in our labs and here is our verdict on the drive.

Brush-finished aluminum shell

Brush-finished aluminum shell

Design and build

Having a thickness of just 9 mm, the Canvio Slim is definitely one of the slimmest we have encountered in the recent past. It sports an aluminum brushed shell with a finished metallic exterior and is almost the same size of a 2.5-inch laptop hard drive or an SSD. It looks great and the small form factor seems as though they have connected the interface cable directly to a 2.5-inch hard drive. The drive does not have any space inside it and hence, does not feature any shock-proofing material, which makes it prone to falls and bumps. Exposing the drive to certain G-levels can ruin the data within. The entire shell has just a USB 3.0 interface and no buttons or switches. A white LED indicator for drive activity is available on the top left corner. 

Sleek and slim at just 9 mm

Sleek and slim at just 9 mm

Features

The Canvio Slim from Toshiba is just 9 mm thick and measures 75 mm and 107 mm in width and height respectively. It weighs just 150 g and is definitely one of the lightest portable hard drives around. It can be easily slipped into your pocket or bag and you will not even know it is there. The interface is USB 3.0, which is backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports. The drive used internally is a 5400 RPM hard drive with a cache buffer of 8MB. Preloaded on the drive itself is a backup and security utility called NTI Backup Now EZ which can help you take convenient backups and also restore your operating system or certain files and folders in case there is a mishap or a system crash. Sadly, there is no one-touch backup button featured on the drive to make data backup easier.

Light-weight at just 150 grams

Light-weight at just 150 grams

To prevent intrusion into your data, an HDD password protection tool is also provided; it ensures that the drive’s contents will open only on the PC on which the utility is installed. Supplied with the drive is a single bus USB 3.0 cable and a user manual. Toshiba should have supplied a rubberised sleeve with the package for protecting the looks and making the drive anti-slip to prevent minor damages. The drive comes in two colour variants – black and silver.

Available in two color variants

Available in two colour variants

Performance

We tested the drive using a few testing and benchmarking utilities to know the data transfer speeds you can get with this drive. SiSoft Sandra 2012 gave us an average drive score of 84.2MB/s. Read/write tests were also done which gave results like 104.5MB/s and 52.9MB/s in sequential tests and 104MB/s and 56.9MB/s respectively. CrystalDiskMark gave us better results when tested using a 500MB test file. The sequential read and write speeds were 109.2MB/s and 109MB/s respectively. We also tested the drive using ATTO Disk Benchmark in sequential write tests and the speeds obtained were 109.1MB/s for both read and write. The above tests were done using the USB 3.0 interface on a test rig equipped with a Samsung PM830 mSATA SSD hard drive on a 1.7GHz Core i7 2637 processor with 4GB of RAM running the Windows 7 64-bit operating system. We also did test the drive on a random older PC with a USB 2.0 interface. The average maximum read and write speeds we got were 28MB/s and 23MB/s respectively. 

Data security and backup software included on drive

Data security and backup software included on drive

Verdict

The Toshiba Canvio Slim is definitely one of the slimmest portable drives available out there. While there are rivals, the Canvio Slim definitely beats some with respect to performance and weight. If you are in need of a stylish and light portable storage, the Canvio Slim 500GB is the best one out there and is available for Rs 8,370. It does lack in a few aspects like one-touch back up or a rugged casing, but it does come out ahead of the competition in terms of performamce.

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