The Toshiba Canvio Basics 3.0 1.5TB hard drives have been appearing in electronic stores for a list price around $110. Not bad for an external portable hard drive that is USB 3.0 rated.
Being in the market for another external hard drive, these hard drives stood out on store shelves. The black plastic casing has a matte finish and looks relatively slim due to a beveled edge. When held in hand, it felt solid and flexed a small amount only when firmly pressed. Given the price range, the enclosure is solid.
Features, on the other hand, are also minimal. There’s a single led light on top and a single USB 3.0 Micro-B port at the back. That is simplicity at it’s best.
Included with the hard drive is a 17” USB 3.0 cable that also powers the portable hard drive. No AC adapter required.
Performance was fairly good with a slight caveat. Read speed was over 100 MB/s which is great. However the write speed was a little mixed. For file sizes 10MB and under the write speed was around 75 MB/s which similar to the WD My Passport 2TB. However, 100MB file sizes and above had a noticeable decrease in performance of 10 MB/s as read speeds were around 65 MB/s. To double check this, the benchmark was run two additional times, and results were the same.
Overall the Toshiba Canvio Basics 3.0 is a good external hard drive. It loses points for it’s inconsistent performance, but gains points for it’s lower suggested retail price and simple aesthetics.
Benchmarked below is the Toshiba Canvio Basics 3.0 1.5TB model formated to have a single ext3 partition.
fdisk -l /dev/sdc
Disk /dev/sdc: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders, total 2930277168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0xfbafe1cd
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdc1 2048 2930276351 1465137152 83 Linux
Device Read Benchmark (USB 3.0)
hdparm -t /dev/sdc1
/dev/sdc1: Timing buffered disk reads: 326 MB in 3.01 seconds = 108.44 MB/sec
Device Write Benchmark: 1MB x 1000 (USB 3.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=1M count=1000 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 1000+0 records in 1000+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 14.1842 s, 73.9 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 10MB x 100 (USB 3.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=10M count=100 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 100+0 records in 100+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 13.8325 s, 75.8 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 100MB x 10 (USB 3.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=100M count=10 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 10+0 records in 10+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 16.1265 s, 65.0 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 500MB x 2 (USB 3.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=500M count=2 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 2+0 records in 2+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 16.3274 s, 64.2 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 1000MB x 1 (USB 3.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=1000M count=1 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 1+0 records in 1+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 16.7482 s, 62.6 MB/s