This has been a month of Hitachi external product reviews. After looking at the two G-Technology MAC external drives and the Hitachi Mobile Pro, we are finally ready for Hitachi's flagship Touro Desk Pro.
The Desk Pro is a stackable external desk drive that uses USB 3.0 technology to connect to your PC or MAC. Three capacity sizes are available; 1TB, 2TB and the drive we are looking at today, 3TB. The Touro Desk Pro ships with two distinct backup platforms. The first is a seemless backup to the external drive and the second is a free cloud service with 3GB of space. The cloud service can be upgraded to 250GB with a paid subscription.
We see our fair share of external drives throughout the year, but the Hitachi Touro Desk Pro stands out from the crowd with its cloud backup service. Hitachi calls this two levels of data protection. You get 3GB out of the box for free, but this account can be upgraded to 250GB for a yearly fee. The cloud portion of the backup can be accessed through any IP device like your PC, tablet or smart phone.
The Touro Desk Pro uses superspeed USB 3.0 technology for very fast transfer rates. The drive uses 7,200 RPM platters so you'll be able use a large portion of the USB 3.0 bandwidth when transferring files to and from the drive.
Using Google's Shopping service, we managed to find the 3TB Desk Pro that we are looking at today for just under 150 Dollars. The 2TB was found for 116 and the 1TB model for 89 USD. The flooding in Thailand has increased drive prices quite a bit and we consider the 3TB model for less than 150 Dollars to be a bargain at this time. I wouldn't be surprised if some buy this product just to remove the drive from the enclosure and use it as an internal boot drive.
Hitachi's external storage products are about form and function. The company makes some of the best looking drives on the market today. The Touro Desk Pro follows the same path with its piano black side panels and silver mid section. A single blue LED shows the external drives power and disk status.
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Using ATTO, we recorded read and write speeds of right around 140MB/s. The drive uses Advanced Format so ATTO wouldn't test block sizes smaller than 4K. This is solid performance for any platter drive built today and in some cases you may find your Touro Desk Pro is faster than your computer's internal drive.
Advanced Format drives can't be tested with AS SSD yet so we can't run our standard file transfer tests. We ended up using CDM to measure the 512k and 4K transfer speeds. USB 3.0 doesn't take advantage of native command queuing.
Given the prices we are seeing now for internal drives, the Touro Desk Pro is a steal at 150 Dollars for the 3TB model. The same drive used in this enclosure is selling by itself for over 250 Dollars and at some stores closer to 400, when you can actually find them.
The Touro Desk Pro also includes the backup software and cloud backup service which increases the products overall value. At this point I think I'd buy several of these drives since we know a HDD drought is in effect for the next several months.
The best feature, though, is the drive itself. You get a fast 7,200 RPM drive in the enclosure. Most external drives these days are only 5,400 RPMs and the faster drive gives a noticeable increase in performance.