Desktop Storage (External) Reviews
External desktop storage reviews range relatively widely from single to several drive units that perform an immense variety of tasks. Some external desktop storage reviews feature devices designed for capacity expansion, typically via 1-5 bays, that interface over Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. Others feature direct attached storage (DAS) devices that connect with similar interfaces or even Gigabit Ethernet. In these external desktop storage reviews, we also look at specialized products designed specifically for RAIDing drives, backing up home media content via a router connection, or providing a local and cloud storage solution.
by Josh Shaman

G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE Review (0G02537)

The G-Technology G-DRIVE 4TB is a high-capacity desktop storage device. Just a couple of weeks ago, we reviewed its sibling G-DRIVE mini 1TB and found a lot to like leaving us with high expectations for this bigger brother. The G-DRIVE 4TB is an update on previous models and now offers USB 3.0 connectivity and doubled capacity at 4TB. This model is designed for Mac users who want a sleek, rugged enclosure that has loads of connectivity. In line with the rest of the HGST G-Technology, the G-DRIVE 4TB is likely to be a favorite amongst Mac users and creative professionals for its style, performance, and reliability.

Read more
by Josh Linden

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt RAID Review

Earlier this month LaCie announced the availability of its new 5big Thunderbolt RAID, a DAS targeting Mac-based digital content creators and other prosumers looking to leverage Thunderbolt’s data transfer bandwidth. Like other members of LaCie’s 5big family, such as the 5big Office + that StorageReview benchmarked in June 2012, the 5big Thunderbolt features five 3.5-inch SATA drive bays. Prepopulated with five 4TB drives, our review unit attains the 5big Thunderbolt’s maximum capacity of 20TB.

Read more
by Josh Linden

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt RAID DAS Review

Earlier this year, LaCie announced a lineup of new storage devices with Thunderbolt connectivity. The 2big Thunderbolt features two hard drives that can be operated in RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD, allowing the user to take advantage of Thunderbolt's high-speed data transfers for storage-intensive workstation applications in RAID 0 or to serve as portable storage with a redundant backup in RAID 1. With two Thunderbolt ports, the 2big can also daisy chain with other Thunderbolt devices.

Read more
by Brian Beeler

LaCie Blade Runner by Philippe Starck Review

The LaCie Blade Runner is a 4TB external hard drive that's unlike any other on the market. While the tech specs feature big capacity and USB 3.0 connectivity, the real story is the drive's design and designer. When LaCie went to Philippe Starck to design an external drive, he indicated that beyond anything else, he didn't want it to look like an external drive. Mission accomplished. The end product is as much functional tech as it is desktop artwork; a combination that will appeal not only to Starck enthusiasts around the world, but anyone who's willing to invest a little more for a stylish piece.

Read more
by Doug Crowthers

Toshiba Canvio Personal Cloud Hard Drive Review

The Toshiba Canvio Personal Cloud hard drive is a personal cloud server that doesn't require a monthly subscription and/or usage fees. It's an ideal solution for storing, sharing, and streaming your music, pictures, videos, and files between your desktop computers, laptops, tablets and or smartphones across your personal cloud. Unlike typical Cloud solutions, your content is stored on your own personal network and not a remote unknown location out on the Internet. Users gain peace of mind knowing that they can access and share files anywhere in the world at any time.

Read more
by Doug Crowthers

Toshiba Canvio Desk 3TB Review

Over the summer, Toshiba released three new Canvio Desk external desktop hard drives that are available in capacities of 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB. Today, we have the opportunity to get our hands on and review the  3TB Canvio Desk Desktop external hard drive. The drive  is USB 3.0 compatible, which Toshiba was kind enough to include the USB 3.0 cable within the package. It comes formatted NTFS for Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8. Mac users aren't to be left out though, as the drive can be reformatted to work with Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard or Snow Leopard.

Read more
by Tom Streeter

Western Digital My Book Essential 4TB Review

Western Digital has taken a "more is better" approach with its latest iteration of the WD My Book Essential HDD. The top model features a single 4TB drive and a USB3.0 interface to help speed up the process of filling it up. Like its predecessors in the Essentials line, the My Book is marketed primarily as a backup storage device. It ships formatted as NTFS and includes WD SmartWare backup software for Windows 7 and Windows 8 pre-installed. After a straightforward initial setup and backup session, the software will run in the background and create incremental backups transparently and with adjustable levels of version control. Mac users who want to take advantage of the USB3.0 interface shipping on current generations of Apple hardware can reformat the drive to HFS+ and use the drive as a Time Machine volume.

Read more
by Lyle Smith

Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo Review

Western Digital has started shipping a high-performance external hard drive solution: the My Book VelociRaptor Duo. As the name indicates, the biggest difference in this Duo version is that it uses a pair of Western Digital's 1TB 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor hard drives in the My Book enclosure. Incorporating these high performance drives allows for throughput of almost 400MB/s. We previously reviewed Western Digital's My Book Thunderbolt Duo which boasted surprisingly fast speeds to Thunderbolt-capable systems for those needing a combination of big capacity and fast throughput in a local external hard drive solution. The VelociRaptor Duo takes external performance one step further, dramatically increasing read and write speeds over previous Western Digital external storage solutions.

Read more
by Dan Volkens

CalDigit T1 Thunderbolt Drive Review

The CalDigit T1 is an aluminum drive enclosure that comes complete with either a hard drive or SSD inside. The drives are mounted to 3.5" drive sleds that make it easy to swap out drives at will. The Thunderbolt interface actually makes an external SSD viable from a performance standpoint, CalDigit included both a 3TB hard drive and 480GB SSD for testing purposes. What's more, the package includes the $50 Apple Thunderbolt cable, which is a first, none of the Thunderbolt solutions we've reviewed to date have actually included the cable. CalDigit has another trick up their sleeve too, an iOS application called ThunderView that provides drive info and tools geared toward workflows for creative professionals.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Hitachi G-RAID With Thunderbolt Review (8TB)

Hitachi's G-Technology line of external hard drives has long been a favorite for creative professionals and others who generally need some combination of reliability, performance, capacity and redundancy. While Hitachi has several products in the G-Tech line that specialize in one or more of those qualities, their latest effort is an external storage generalist that can just about do it all. The G-RAID with Thunderbolt offers up to 4TB of capacity over two mirrored drives, or 8TB if configured for maximum throughput in RAID0 over Thunderbolt, while providing legendary reliability from Hitachi's latest Deskstar 7K4000 hard drives.

Read more