Maxtor OneTouch 300GB External Hard Drive

Introduction:

Iíd have to say that external hard drives are one of the most useful things you could buy if you have more then one computer, and you transfer files between the two on a normal basis. I have two computers myself, and I find myself constantly burning CDís of files to send to my other computer, which frankly, is a complete pain.

Luckily, I now have an external hard drive, and a big one at that, 300 whopping GBís, which is really more then you could ever need.

Here is our official SLCentral.com review on the Maxtor OneTouch 300GB External Hard Drive!

Design

The Maxtor OneTouch drive is pretty sleek looking. The front part is a navy blue color, with a button that has a extremely bright blue LED. The rest of the unit (except for the back) is a nice silver color. On the top of the device, youíll find a Maxtor logo, which is quite large, yet still looks good.

On the back is where things start to get "exciting." My favorite thing about this unit is the fact that it supports both USB 2.0 and Firewire, which is so useful when you have a Mac and a PC, since most Macís do not have USB 2.0, but they all have Firewire, and visa versa for a PC.

Anyways, on the back you will find a power port, a USB 2.0 port, two FireWire ports (Iíll get into the reason on two being there later), and a power switch, which was not present on the previous Maxtor drives, and knocked off some points on my Maxtor 5000DV External Hard Drive review. There is also a few slits to let it vent, since there is a fan in the unit. Finally, youíll find a sticker on the back with the serial #, etc.

The drive is not exactly small, but considering its capacity, Iíd say the size is very fair. Itís not too heavy either, 3 pounds, which is great if you are planning on taking it back and forth between work and home or a similar situation.

What I donít like about the design is that the drive does get hot when being used for a while. Not burning hot, but hot. Not a big issue, but itís definitely worth mentioning.

In The Box

Maxtor has compiled a very nice package to go with the hard drive. In the box, youíll find a power cable, a 6-pin Firewire, a USB 2.0 cable, an installation CD, and a manual.

Features

The Maxtor OneTouchís most advertised feature is definitely OneTouch, hence the name. Basically, OneTouch is a feature that lets you press the one button on the drive to automatically backup a selected file, folder, partition, or entire hard drive. It is pretty handy, and I must say that people who back up often sure will like this feature. It works just as advertised. Press the button, and the Rantz Retrospect (Express) program will open, and automatically begin backing up. Considering the fact that it uses USB 2.0/Firewire, the backup process is extremely quick, but of course, it depends on how much you back up.

Another feature is the two Firewire ports. Why two, you ask? Maxtor thinks that some people need more then 300GB of external data. I canít imagine me ever needing more, but I can imagine that video editing people and the like can always have extra space. Therefore, they let you connect multiple drives into a chain using a Firewire cable. You can connect up to 62 drives at once, which I must say is very impressive. Imagine, 300GB times 62, 18600GB of data, amazing. Then again, you got to factor that each drive is $400, so to get all that space, itíll cost you $24,800.

Last, but not least is the fact that this drive is quiet, very quiet. Even during the most intensive tasks, I hear nothing from the drive. Maybe this is because my computer is so loud, but even if I put my ear to the drive, I hear virtually nothing, which I love.

Performance

This is where it all counts. Whatís the point of buying something that doesnít perform? Luckily, the Maxtor OneTouch 300GB External Hard Drive performs, and it performs quite well.

As you can see from this SiSoft Sandra 2004 benchmark (using Firewire), the OneTouch does great. It beats out all the drives compared with the exception of the WD DiamondPlus 9, but then again, the DiamondPlus 9 is internal, is 7200RPM, and has a 8MB cache. Apparently, the drive works well.

What about in real performance? Hereís a chart I made, showing the time it takes to transfer a 708MB ISO file to and from the drive:

Performance is excellent, to say the least. I must say that I was surprised that Firewire is significantly faster then USB 2.0, despite USB 2.0 has an 80MB higher cap rate. Both USB 2.0 and Firewire however, gave impressive results.

Software

Maxtor has continued itís tradition of including Dantz Retrospect software with their External drives, but this time they included the Express version, not the full version. I couldnít really see the difference between the two.

Basically, Retrospect compresses the files you are backing up, and then sends them off to the drive. I decided for daily use not to use Retrospect, simply because there is really no point of backing up any data on a 300GB drive!

Nevertheless, the software is powerful, very easy to use, and very fast.

I should mention that when you press the OneTouch button to use Retrospect to backup your data that you already selected to backup automatically, it only backs up the files that have changed since the last backup, which really does speed up the process.

Conclusion

Maxtor has made another winning drive. The OneTouch 300GB External Hard Drive is a pure winner. Design is great, features are great, and performance is excellent. Thereís really no place that Maxtor has gone wrong here.

I have to admit that $400 MSRP is quite a bit of money for a hard drive, external or not. I know I wouldnít have bought one myself; I would have gone for the smaller version. Nevertheless, people looking for a large hard drive that is external should really look no further.

SLRating: 10/10



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