Review: Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro Blends The Cloud & Physical Storage With Top USB 3.0 Performance

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We’re greeted with a skinny device that works hard while remaining user-friendly as a pro storage accessory while you’re on tour.The drive is slim for a hard disk platter that spins at 7200rpm, and is also somewhat stylish for a hard drive. The unit is finished in a reflective, black coating on top and bottom, with a silver/grey rim around the edge. There aren’t any physical buttons, and the only light is an unobtrusive blue glimmer that pulsates from under the black plastic while the hard drive is spinning.

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Connectivity is limited to the single USB cable which supports USB 3.0 and 2.0 standards, and no external power is needed. While being backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports, the true value comes with linking this hard drive up with a USB 3.0-ready computer to get value per GB (otherwise this device can be easily trumped in USB 2.0 value by 2 terabyte offerings for under $100 to be found.

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The drive and its single USB cable

Transferring small files like a folder full of music and Word documents will see fair USB 2.0 performance at around 30MB/s, but the USB 3.0 speeds make the Touro Pro more noteworthy.

Over the page for read/write speeds and the Mobile Pro’s clever backup solutions.

 

The hard drive will read out files onto a computer at up to 100MB/s if transferring large files like single videos, while maxing out closer to 90MB/s for smaller files. Write speeds on the drive peak at just under 70MB/s with larger files, dipping slightly for multitudes of little files.

You’ll get the best performance out of the Touro Pro if you’ve got one of the latest higher-end notebooks that ship with solid state drives (SSD) rather than hard drives and are USB 3.0 compatible. Not only will the speeds cap out higher with transfers, but the need for portable storage is greater for SSD users since they tend to cap at 256GB.

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One of the top features of the drive is its backup software that blends local backup and cloud backup services. The software’s interface is minimalist and runs almost like an Android app in its layout. Folders can be added and removed from the local backup settings and intervals for backup can be scheduled from automatic to daily and on specific times set by the user.

Hitachi has thrown in 3GB of free cloud storage with the hope of enticing users to upgrade to 250GB of online storage for $49 per year. Backup for cloud storage runs in the same way as local storage, though a cap can be put on bandwidth usage and the max size of uploaded files (to be conscious of upload/download limits).

From here, data can quickly be restored from either local or cloud back up at the click of three buttons: Restore, either Local or Cloud Backup, then restore again. The 3GB free won’t get you very far on media storage, but is more than enough for storing sensitive data and important documents in a safe, retrievable place.

The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro comes in two sizes: 500 GB and 750 GB. On a per-GB basis, you can get better, but buying this drive is a lot like going for an SSD drive over a bigger hard disk drive in your home PC – its speed and reliability outweigh the storage size. Backup is simple, automated and blends the cloud and the physical. At the same time, storage is lightweight and very portable while not being too small to bring a heap of media with you on the go.

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The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro next to a Samsung S2 1TB hard drive.

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The Mobile Pro is a bit longer, though noticably thinner.

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