Despite long years of talking about superparamagnetic limits and maximum bit densities hard drive manufacturers manage to keep upping the ante. The latest to upsize its external drive is Hitachi which has recently released the Touro Desk Pro 4TB an external USB 3.0 desktop (mains-powered) drive that managed to be both the fastest and largest external hard drive we’ve tested.
We ran the same battery of tests on the Touro that we ran on the 3TB drives in our July issue and the Hitachi topped the field in two out of four tests: small file reads at 33.5MB/s and large file writes at 81.6MB/s. There’s clearly no performance sacrifice here despite the gargantuan capacity.
The Hitachi has one other appealing aspect: it’s designed to be stackable. It’s unnecessarily thick but we love the simple design decision to make it flat so that multiple Touros can be stacked on top of each other. This is perfect for people who need a lot of data storage space or who are connecting multiple drives to devices like lounge room media players and TV sets. You’d think that would be a common feature of desktop drives but it’s not (though WD drives are often designed for side-by-side stacking).
The Touro comes with some rather weak backup software — seriously stick with Windows Backup — and a free 3GB Hitachi Backup online storage account is advertised prominently on the box. The latter isn’t exactly a huge selling point since it seems you can get that at www.hitachibackup.com anyway without having to buy a hard drive.
Ultimately if it’s extras that you want the Touro is probably not for you. But if you want a fast drive with tons of capacity at a reasonable price the Touro is a good bet.
Pros : Very fast tons of capacity (obviously) stackable.
Cons : Supplied software and online service are hardly awe-inspiring.
Verdict : 9 out of 10. Editor’s choice!
Available from Hitachi RRP $350