Hitachi XL Desktop Drive
A high capacity Hitachi external hard drive
- Reasonable asking price, 2TB storage, simple backup software included
- Slow simultaneous read/write speeds, bulky design, USB 2.0 only
The Hitachi XL Desktop Drive offers plenty of storage at a price that wont break the bank. Sadly it's a little on the slow side.
Price$ 250.00 (AUD)
The Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is a 3.5in external hard drive with a massive 2TB capacity (a cheaper 1TB version is also available). It comes with easy to use backup software, it's a cool operator and it isn’t too painful to look at.
Unfortunately, the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive isn’t particularly fast when it comes to file transfers, and it only comes with a USB 2.0 connection (so no eSATA or FireWire). It is also imposingly sized. Nonetheless, if you require a reasonably priced external hard drive with oodles of storage space, we suppose it will fit the bill.
The Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is an interesting looking beast. With its curious contours and matte black finish, it strikes an unusual balance between stylish and boring; like a geography teacher wearing a swanky beret. The casing is bereft of adornment, with the sole exception of a Hitachi logo that lights up when the drive is switched on.
All in all, it’s a fairly pedestrian looking device, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (Does everything you own have to look sexy? We fail to see the point of a tarted up hard drive. What’s next, a designer Wi-Fi router? Ahem.)
With dimensions of 186x132x51mm, the Hitachi XL is definitely on the bulky side for an external hard drive. [Well, it is called the Hitachi ‘XL’. -- Ed.]. If you keep a cluttered desktop you might find it hard to make space for this behemoth. On the plus side, Hitachi has included a stand that lets you prop the device up vertically, like the Western Digital My Passport range.
In addition to the stand, the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is bundled with the obligatory mini-USB cable, as well as an assortment of power adaptors for different regions. This could prove handy if you regularly travel overseas (it’s one less device you need to buy an international adaptor for). However, we found the cheap-feeling, plastic connectors to be quite finicky. In fact, we couldn’t get the Australian adaptor to work at all. We were consequently forced to use a power supply unit of our own. Our advice: try before you buy.
The drive remained cool during operation; this probably has a lot to do with the gargantuan enclosure. The Hitachi logo — which is quite large — flickers annoyingly whenever the drive is in use. Terrifyingly, there is no option to switch this feature off. As you’d imagine, this is especially irksome if you have a headache or are in the dark.
In order to see how the Hitachi external hard drive would fare under a variety of circumstances, we used a PC equipped with a Core i7-965 CPU, 6GB of DDR3 memory and 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor hard drive, running Windows Vista 64-bit.
Our test files include a 3GB batch of 1MB files as well as a 20GB folder of 3-4GB files.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Hitachi XL Desktop Drive||$250.00||2TB||USB 2.0||19.1||8.2||5.8|
|Western Digital My Book 3.0||$249.99||1TB||USB 2.0||25.6||17.6||11.4|
|Western Digital My Book Elite||$399.99||2TB||USB 2.0||24.6||15.2||10.2|
|LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive||$199||1TB||USB 2.0||28.8||17.1||10.5|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||USB 2.0||23.4||15||10.7|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Hitachi XL Desktop Drive||$250.00||2TB||USB 2.0||29.7||22.6||12.6|
|Western Digital My Book 3.0||$249.99||1TB||USB 2.0||28.5||24.9||12.7|
|Western Digital My Book Elite||$399.99||2TB||USB 2.0||27.7||24.1||11.3|
|LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive||$199||1TB||USB 2.0||30.3||25.7||12.7|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||USB 2.0||26.7||25.1||12.7|
As you can see, the the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive didn't fare too well — especially when it came to simultaneous read/write speeds. Operations involving lots of small files were very sluggish indeed. If you’re specifically looking for a backup solution that will chug away in the background, the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is a reasonable proposition. On the other hand, if you require a high-capacity drive for everyday use, you might want to go with something a bit faster.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- How to recover data from a corrupt hard drive or SSD with no backup on Mac: How to delete corrupted files on external Mac drive
- Akitio's combines two speedy technologies in blazing external SSD
- Intel claims storage supremacy with swift 3D XPoint Optane drives, 1-petabyte 3D NAND
- Intel's new super-fast SSDs feature 3D NAND
- Samsung begins shipping redonkulous 15.36TB SSD
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCechnical Specialist ApplicationsACT
- FTProject Manager - Web ContentVIC
- CCDeemed Order Business SpecialistVIC
- CCProject Manager - Healthcare DomainSA
- FTSenior Full-Stack .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCBig Data DeveloperWA
- CCSenior IT Tester / Telecommunications (Urgent)NSW
- FTPeopleSoft Finance Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCData Feeds Developer | Financial Services | C# & SQLNSW
- CCRelease Manager, SAPNSW
- FTSolution Architect - Capacity ManagementVIC
- CCSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Specialist - IP Network Design - Juniper MXNSW
- CCSystems Engineer - Wintel, VMWare and CitrixNSW
- CCFull Stack Developer - AngularNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Technical LeadACT
- CCICT Fleet and Equipment Audit ResourcesSA
- CCIT Technical WriterACT
- CCApplication Packaging ExpertVIC
- FTMid-Level Full-Stack Java DeveloperVIC
- FTManager, Applications SpecialistNSW
- CCSystems Engineer - NV2ACT
- FTProduction ConsultantVIC
- CCIT Assistant (Office Automation/Windows) 160517/ITA/884Asia
- CCDelivery Manager - Integration SpaceVIC