Gadgets touro-desk-pro

Published on February 5th, 2013 | by Greg


HGST’s Touro Desk Pro 3TB: Store And More!

Large-scale storage is becoming commonplace. Your mother might not yet need a RAID array, but chances are she could use a backup hard disk. After all, when you’re doing digital photography or cinematography, even just family photos, you tend to use up a fair bit of data storage. If you’re like many of us, the cloud sounds nice, but having your data on a local drive is still the best and safest way to go.

HGST (formerly Hitachi, now part of Western Digital) offers some options that combine both elements- a fixed hard drive as well as a cloud backup service where you can put your most important files and documents for safe keeping (3GB is included for free, the paid version increases that limit). We’ve been testing out the flagship HGST Touro Desk Pro 3TB (2TB and 4TB models are also available), and there is plenty to like- it’s fast, inexpensive, and offers a colossal capacity that should be enough for just about any circumstance. At press time, it was hard to find available in the 3TB version for purchase though, and there were a couple of downsides that we noted in our usage.

First, let’s talk about the case itself- most drive cases are pretty similar these days, but this one is a little different. On the upside, it’s stackable, and offers a USB 3.0 interface that is backwards-compatible for those without support. We recommend trying to get USB 3.0 working though (most newer laptops and desktops offer it, and various cards exist to upgrade older machines). A drive like this doesn’t make much sense running at the slower interface, since it will take forever to copy or transfer information through the older type of connection. We ran several benchmarking utilities, as well as running Windows 7 copy tests on large files, and found peak performance of 140 or so MB/s for both reads and writes. This is pretty impressive, and makes this one of the faster external hard drives that we’ve seen.

Part of the speed comes from the internal drive itself- many USB backup disks use 5400 RPM drives, but this one is the much-improved 7200 RPM. It’s a bit weird that they don’t brag about this fact on their site, but bury it a bit in the marketing materials. Another plus to this model is that it runs fairly quiet, barely noticeable with a desktop computer running. But that left us wondering about the temperature, and we did notice that the drive gets hot- there is ventilation, but it is easy to cover up or block accidentally. We’d recommend particular care in placement of this drive. Also, the case is fairly cheap-looking, and completely plastic, whereas many drives have aluminum enclosures.

There are no other connectivity options (the lineup lacks Thunderbolt support, for instance, or FireWire), and the included cable is pretty short in our opinion. But if you need a lot of space to backup important data, then the HGST Touro Desk Pro (in any size) is one of the cheapest ways to go- the 4TB model runs around $220. The high transfer rates are impressive, enough that the so-so housing can be overlooked.

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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 Appleā€™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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