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Published on March 15th, 2012 | by Greg

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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 Apple’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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