We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Portable storage Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Toshiba HDDR500E03X review

£78 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Toshiba

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

If you want cheap and lightweight portable storage, try the Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB USB hard drive.

If you want cheap and lightweight portable storage, try the Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB USB hard drive

Inside and out, this Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB compact external USB hard drive is billed as 100% Toshiba. And since the Japanese company is renowned for its hard drives, in this case a 2.5in notebook SATA drive spinning at 5400rpm, this should bode well for well-made external storage solution.

The notebook hard disk inside spins at 5400rpm and promises low power consumption and quiet operation. In practice, we found the Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB worked with whichever laptop USB port we plugged it into, without requiring additional power, and it was certainly exceptionally quiet in use.

More reviews of hard drives: click here

While quite attractive to look at, the Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB casework is a very cheap and simple construct comprising two pieces of plastic that clip together, with a tiny circuit board inside to provide the crucial USB-to-SATA interface. Excepting the hard disk itself, there isn't one screw used in the entire unit.

One mini-USB socket is the only connector, and a white LED flashes through the Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB plastic case to show disk operations.

We benchmarked the Toshiba HDDR500E03X 500GB drive with HDTach, and recorded average read speeds of 29Mb/s and writing at 17Mb/s. It could hit bursts of 36Mb/s, and its random access (RA) time was 17.5ms. These read/write speeds are slow by comparison with the capabilities of a raw hard disk on a native SATA interface but typical when used via a USB 2.0 connection.

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

Toshiba HDDR500E03X Expert Verdict »

500GB external hard drive
Toshiba MK5055GSX 2.5in SATA 5400rpm hard disk
mini-USB connector
mini-USB to USB cable
  • Build Quality: We give this item 5 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Toshiba is a very lightweight, functional and neatly styled external drive, but the construction is fragile to the point of being easily breakable after a few knocks. In fact on our sample, a plastic clip had snapped off inside leaving an annoying rattle when the unit was picked up. In its favour, this is a helluva lot of portable storage for not a lot of money.

IDG UK Sites

How to get a gold Apple Watch for £329: Save £7,500+ with this cool upgrade kit

IDG UK Sites

It's World Backup Day 2015! Don't wait another minute: back up now

IDG UK Sites

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 4 is another disturbing sequel to Becky & Joe's YouTube hit

IDG UK Sites

History of Apple: how Apple came to lead the tech industry