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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Users are always damanding more and more storage space, not only inside their computers, but also as portable external hard disk drives. Nowadays, 2 TB portable external drives are becoming popular, and we will test the Toshiba 2 TB Canvio Connect, comparing it to the Seagate 2 TB Backup Plus Slim and the Western Digital 2 TB My Passport Ultra that we’ve already reviewed. They are all compact drives and make use of the USB 3.0 interface. Which one is the fastest? Let’s see!

Portable external hard drives make use of 2.5” hard disk drives internally, which is the same kind of hard drives used in portable computers. The power for those drives come from the USB port itself. Non-portable external hard disk drives make use of 3.5” drives and need an external power supply.

The following table shows the main characteristics of the devices we are testing. Prices were researched at Newegg.com in the day this article was published.

Manufacturer Model Model # Nominal Capacity Price
Toshiba Canvio Connect HDTC720XS3C1 2 TB USD 92
Seagate Backup Plus Slim STDR2000102 2 TB USD 100
Western Digital My Passport Ultra WDBMWV0020BBK 2 TB USD 90

Now let’s take a closer look at the Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB.

[nextpage title=”The Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB”]

Figura 1 unveils the package of the Toshiba Canvio Connect, which shows the drive itself.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 1: box

The product comes only with a manual and a USB 3.0 cable, as shown in Figure 2.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 2: accessories

Figure 3 shows the Canvio Connect 2 TB. It measures 4.4 x 3.1 x 0.8 inches (111 x 79 x 21 mm) and weighs 7.4 oz. (209 g). The top cover is made of plastic.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 3: the Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

At the rear of the unit you will find the USB 3.0 port, as shown in Figure 4. The activity LED is on the top part of the device.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 4: rear

[nextpage title=”Inside the Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB”]

Figure 5 shows the bottom ot the Toshiba Canvio Connect. The unit has small rubber feet.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 5: bottom

Inside the Canvio Connect 2 TB, we found a 2.5” Toshiba hard disk drive, model MQ01UBB200, with the USB 3.0 interface embedded on its control board. It has 8 MiB of cache and spins at 5,400 rpm.

Like in the Western Digital 2 TB My Passport Ultra, the internal drive is thicker than a regular 2.5” hard disk drive, being 15 mm thick, as it has four platers inside.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 6: internal drive

As seen in Figure 7, the USB 3.0 port is integrated on the printed circuit board of the drive.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 7: drive PCB

Figure 8 shows the inside of the drive case, where you can see three rubber holders where the drive fits. They help to absorb vibrations and small impacts.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TBFigure 8: inside the case

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We tested the three drives using DiskSpeed32 and CrystalDiskMark programs. They were connected to a USB 3.0 port. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the HDD being tested.

Hardware configuration

Software configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Desktop resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz

Drivers versions

  • Intel USB 3.0 driver: 3.0.0.20

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% can’t be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.

[nextpage title=”DiskSpeed32″]

DiskSpeed32 is a disk drive benchmarking program that makes a read test of the entire drive, thus taking a long time.

The graph below shows the burst read speed for each tested hard disk drive, in MiB/s.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

The Toshiba Canvio Connect was 9% faster than the Seagate Backup Plus Slim, and reached the same performance level of the WD My Passport Ultra.

The next graph shows the maximum sequential read speed for each tested drive, in MiB/s.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

In the maximum speed test, the Canvio Connect was 19% slower than the Backup Plus Slim, and 15% slower than the My Passport Ultra.

The following graph shows the average transfer speed in MiB/s. This is the test that really matters in this software.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

In this test, the Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB was 14% slower than the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB, and 5% slower than the WD My Passport Ultra 2 TB.

[nextpage title=”CrystalDiskMark”]

CrystalDiskMark is a disk drive benchmarking program that measures the write and read speed in different block sizes. We compared the results in sequential read and write, and in 512 kiB and 4 kiB block sizes read and write. We configured it for five repetitions of each test of 1 GB of random data.

The graph below shows the sequential read speed for each drive, in MiB/s.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

In the sequential read test, the Canvio Connect was 11% slower than the Backup Plus Slim, and 8% faster than the My Passport Ultra.

The next graph shows the write speed of sequential data, in MiB/s.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

Also in the sequential write test, the Canvio Connect was 12% slower than the Backup Plus Slim, and 7% faster than the My Passport Ultra.

The following graph presents the read speed in 512 kB blocks, in MiB/s.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

In this test, the Canvio Connect was 8% slower than the Backup Plus Slim, and 10% slower than the My Passport Ultra.

The following graph presents the write speed in 512 kB blocks, in MiB/s.

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

An in the 512 kiB random write test, the Canvio Connect was 21% slower than the Backup Plus Slim, and 19% slower than the My Passport Ultra.

The read speed in 4 kB blocks, in MiB/s, is shown in the next graph.

 Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

In the random read test with 4 kiB blocks, the Canvio Connect was 7% faster than the Backup Plus Slim, and 13% slower than the My Passport Ultra.

The following graph presents the write speed in 4 kB blocks, in MiB/s.

 Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB

In the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, the Canvio Connect was 25% faster than the Backup Plus Slim, and 17% slower than the My Passport Ultra.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

In our tests, the Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB performed similarly to the WD My Passport Ultra 2 TB in sequential tests, and both were slower than the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB. However, in most random tests, the Canvio Connect was also slower than the My Passport Ultra, which means its performance level is subpar.

The Canvio Connect is also not as slim and light as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim, which may be a problem if you have to carry it with your laptop in a slim briefcase. On the other hand, it has the rubber spacers that secure it inside the case, which can add some protection against small impacts, at least theoretically.

Although it has a slighter lower performance level than its competitors, the Toshiba Canvio is a good product if you can find it for an attractive price tag.