The Hitach Touro Mobile Pro is very neatly designed – in fact its glossy black design and silvery trim make it look a lot like Apple's iPhone 4 (or 4S). It's a little larger than the iPhone, but at just 15mm thick, 80mm wide and 126mm long it's still one of the neatest portable drives we've seen recently. It only weighs 155g too, so it's easy to slip into your pocket or a backpack and carry around with your laptop when you're on the move.
We tested the 500GB Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro, which has a recommended price of £74.99. That works out at around 15p per gigabyte, but you can actually pick up the Mobile Pro at sites such as Amazon or Tesco for around £60, which is pretty good value for money. There's also a 750GB version that costs about £15 extra.
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Hitachi also provides you with 3GB of online cloud storage for free. That's not a huge amount, but it could still come in handy if you need an extra level of back-up safety for some important work files. And if you need additional online storage then there's a 250GB upgrade option that costs $49 per year.
The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro drive's performance is pretty good too. The drive mechanism runs at 7200rpm, and is equipped with a USB 3.0 interface (the original version of the drive only had a standard USB 2.0 interface so look out for the big ‘USB 3.0' sticker on the packaging of the current model before you buy).
I started by backing-up a 10GB folder containing a few hundred MP3 files, and achieved very respectable speeds of 66MB/s for writing and a full 100MB/s read speed. That made the Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro about 2.5 times faster than the USB 2.0 drive that I generally use for backups on my laptop. Those speeds only varied slightly when I tested it using much larger video files as well, so its all round performance is very solid indeed.
There's also a copy of Hitachi's own backup program included with the drive (two copies in fact, as the Mac version is in there too). This is very straightforward to use, and allows you to configure separate backups onto the Touro itself and also to your 3GB of online storage. You can schedule a daily backup at a specific time, or tell the program to perform automatic backups onto the Touro every 30 minutes, or continuous incremental back-ups to the online storage.