Storage Guide

The Great 1TB USB 3.0 Portable HDD Shootout

The Great 1TB USB 3.0 Portable HDD Shootout


Introduction

The Rise of USB 3.0

The first USB 3.0 storage products and motherboards were launched in early 2010. In a relatively short span of three years, USB 3.0 has slowly but surely becoming commonplace. Now, it is unthinkable for a new desktop system or notebook to ship without USB 3.0 connectivity.

By now, most of you should know that USB 3.0 is an upgrade to USB 2.0. Also sometimes called "SuperSpeed" ports, USB 3.0 is capable of providing up to 5Gbps of data throughput - 10 times that of USB 2.0’s 480MBps. That certainly sounds impressive, but bear in mind that these figures are its theoretical transfer rates. Although real world transfer speeds are much less, there’s no doubting the performance advantage of USB 3.0 over USB 2.0.

Currently, there’s no shortage of USB 3.0 portable hard drives and 1TB variants of such drives have never been more affordable. We love these drives for their extreme portability and their fairly large capacity, which makes it ideal for sharing media content, data, documents, or even as a backup drive. And for this shootout, we have shortlisted six drives and they are:

  • Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt
  • G Technology G Drive Mobile USB
  • Imation M300
  • Seagate Backup Plus
  • Verbatim Store ’n’ Go
  • Western Digital My Passport

The drives will be put through our suite of benchmarks to test for their performance. Additionally, we will also be looking at the drives’ design, aesthetics, ease of use and also the inclusion (if any) of any handy backup tools or utilities.

We will begin the shootout by providing an overview of each of the drives.