External Storage Roundup: LaCie, Toshiba, and WD

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Summary: We chose the LaCie Porsche P9220, Toshiba Canvio Connect, and WD My Passport Ultra for this article because they all had similar specifications and features, and in our benchmarks, we could see a relatively tight cluster of scores that reinforced that fact. Even so, the WD and LaCie drives more or less took turns delivering the best performance, while the Toshiba drive--although it did beat the other two in a couple of sub tests--mostly trailed the pack by a small margin.

All three drives offer included bonus software, some of which feels like bloatware and some of which can be valuable to the end user. For example, all three offer included backup software so users can easily schedule and manage regular backups.

All three drives offer plenty of storage capacity (1TB,  or in the case of the Toshiba, 750GB), and they're all compact and easily portable. We like the design of each; they're all quite different but offer an attractive look and style that doesn't get in the way of the usability of the device itself.

We should note that the drives are all just 5400 RPM and could argue that a slight bump up in specifications to 7200 RPM would offer notably better performance. That's true, but because all three drives are the same spindle speed, it's not a valid criticism within this context and durability could take a turn for the worse at higher speeds. Besides, these drives are designed to offer an easy backup solution that's also portable, and once initial large backups are made, a slower spindle speed won't impact smaller, incremental backups as much. If you want blazing performance, you need a different class of device altogether.

Further, all three have reasonable price tags that jibe with their performance relative to one another. The LaCie and WD drives retail for $89.99 currently and the slightly lower-performing and smaller-capacity Toshiba Canvio Connect comes with a notably lower cost of $65 with 1TB models at the same $89.99 price. Considering the price for performance of these three drives and the handy software that comes with each (which you can wipe out easily enough if you prefer), all three are good deals.

We do, however, give a firmer collective nod to the WD My Passport and Lacie Porsche drives, as they tended to edge-out Toshiba's product performance-wise. Still, depending on the deals you can find at the time, all three products could be considered a veritable toss-up and you really can't go wrong either way.

LaCie Porsche P9220
Western Digital My Passport Ultra

Toshiba Canvio Connect

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