Maxtor One Touch III Turbo

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Maxtor One Touch III Turbo
  • Maxtor One Touch III Turbo
  • Maxtor One Touch III Turbo
  • Maxtor One Touch III Turbo
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Dual RAID configurations, triple interface, 1TB storage

Cons

  • Large, not well styled

Bottom Line

Although expensive, if you do require a large amount of storage space, it’s hard to go past this drive. Not only does it offer a triple interface, but also dual RAID configurations, making it worth every dollar.

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Does anyone remember the humble floppy disk? Back in our day, these little plastic disks held only 1.44MB of data, yet somehow, we got by. In these days of portable mass storage however, it seems that too much space is never enough. Who wants mere gigabytes when you can now have terabytes? Meet the Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo external hard drive - with a whopping 1 Terabyte (1TB) of space available for all your data storage needs.

In case you're wondering, 1TB is 1000 gigabytes (GB) - or nearly 700,000 floppy disks. Just who needs all this space you ask? Well, we see this drive being useful for three kinds of users - those who tend to download heavily, those who want fast secure data backups, or professionals who work extensively with digital video. The drive itself is optimized for this, sporting a USB2.0, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 connection.

The Turbo isn't one single terabyte drive but actually consists of two 500GB drives, and here is where things get interesting. If you look on the box or read the Maxtor website, you will notice that RAID is mentioned a fair few times. Why is this important? RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) essentially combines different physical drives into one logical unit, and different RAID levels offer different benefits for users.

RAID 0 for example, offers speed benefits, as it splits data evenly across both disks with no redundancy, giving you use of the full 1TB. Due to the performance benefits, this configuration is ideal for video editing. RAID 1 however, offers the protection of a backup. Instead of having 1TB of storage available, you will have 500GB - but whatever is on one 500GB drive will be 'mirrored' on the other. That way, if one drive fails, you have the peace of mind of knowing your data is still securely backed up on the other. The key selling point of the Turbo is that it supports both RAID 0 and RAID 1, allowing you to either maximise the storage space or automatically backup your data.

The Turbo is a rather bland, boxy looking unit and rather heavy as well, clocking in at just under 2.5kg. This is definitely one piece of 'portable' storage that will be sitting on your desk, rather than carried around. The Turbo is styled much the same way as the OneTouch III, with a rubberized outer layer and white backlit backup button. What impressed us about this drive was its relative quietness and the fact it didn't get noticeably warm during operation.

The Turbo uses the same OneTouch Manager software that ships with the OneTouch III. This applications allows you to customize the performance settings, power settings, security options and for this drive, the RAID settings as well. When you purchase the drive, the default setting is RAID 0. To convert to RAID 1 took us around five minutes and this included both converting and formatting the drive. We ran HD Tach tests on both RAID settings and found the results were as expected, but not as different as we thought. Read times were faster with RAID 0 settings, but not overly so. This is good news for RAID 1 users, as this configuration doesn't seem to tax performance too negatively.

In addition to the customization options, the OneTouch Manager allows for folder synchronization, rollback and restore points. For scheduling more complex backups, Maxtor has included Dantz Retrospect HD 1.1, and this allows you to either simply duplicate files or create restore points. The Maxtor DriveLock function allows you to password protect your drive, providing a further level of security.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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