The Touro Desk Pro might look a little bloated – in fact its 60mm waistline is almost twice that of the slimline Iomega Prestige drive – but it still proves to be a good performer in our tests.

Its overall sequential speed of 150.90MBps when reading files was the fastest in this group – although only by a very small margin. It took a narrow second place to the Seagate GoFlex for writing performance, but its speed of 116.60MBps was still more than respectable. Performance with smaller files was similar. The Touro was neck and neck at the head of the pack with Seagate at 54MBps for read speed, and earned strong second place when writing at 69.14MBps.

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Hitachi’s Backup program is a little basic as it only provides two scheduling options – a single daily backup or regular automatic backups – but it’s very easy to use. It also allows you to simultaneously back up your files both to the Touro Desk Pro itself and to the 3GB of free online archive provided by Hitachi. You can also upgrade the online storage to 250GB for $49 per year, which is cheaper than other cloud services such as Dropbox.


Review from 28/10/11

The Hitachi Touro Desk Pro drive's silver-and-black design looks quite neat, although it's fairly chunky even by the standards of desktop hard drives. It's designed to be laid flat so that you can stack other drives on top of it, in which case its dimensions of 60mm high, 129mm deep and 183mm wide will take up a fair bit of desk space.

However, the 3TB capacity of our review unit Hitachi Touro Desk Pro is probably more than enough for most home users and many small business, so you could just stand it up on its side if you're a bit tight for space. Our only real complaint about the design is that the drive doesn't have an On/Off switch, which means that the only way to turn it completely off is to pull the power cable right out or turn it off at the mains.

Our 3TB review unit Hitachi Touro Desk Pro costs about £180 from online stores such as Tesco, which is about average for that capacity and works out at a mere 6p per gigabyte. There are also 1TB and 2TB models available for around £80 and £110 respectively.

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The Hitachi Touro Desk Pro is equipped with a USB 3.0 interface and 7200rpm drive mechanism, and performed well in our tests. Its most modest result was a write speed of 61MB/s when copying smaller files onto the drive, but that speed more than doubled to 130MB/s for read performance. Testing the drive with larger files produced even better performance, with write speeds of 80MB/s and read speeds of 144MB/s.

The Hitachi Touro Desk Pro models also allow you to sign up for 3GB of free online cloud storage. That's tiny, of course, compared to the drive's 3TB of storage, but at least it gives you another back-up option for a batch of your most important files. You can upgrade the online storage to 250GB as well if you want. That'll cost you $49 per year, but also includes an app that provides remote access from an iPhone or iPad. Alternatively, if you're not interested in the cloud storage at all, there's a model simply called the Touro Desk that is slightly cheaper and omits the cloud storage option.

Hitachi includes its own Backup program with the Hitachi Touro Desk Pro drive, and this can be used to save your files onto the drive itself and also onto your free cloud storage. The backup program is fairly basic – the only two options are regular automatic backups, or a single daily backup – but it's simple and straightforward to use. It also allows you to save up to 100 older versions of your files, which will be handy for business users who need to archive multiple versions of files.

Verdict:

The Hitachi Touro Desk Prois a fast and affordable external storage option for your home or office PC. There are more compact and better looking desktop drives available, but aesthetics are subjective, and really don't matter much when the product is quality.

Hitachi Touro Desk Pro: Specs

  • 3TB, 3.5 inch drive, 7200rpm, USB 3.0
  • 60x129x183mm, 0.97Kg
  • 3TB, 3.5 inch drive, 7200rpm, USB 3.0
  • 60x129x183mm, 0.97Kg

OUR VERDICT

The one big omission is the lack of encryption and password protection. However, the Touro Desk Pro provides good performance and backup features at a very reasonable price.

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