Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- QNAP introduces AI-ready NAS
- Crucial launches P1 NVMe Solid State Drive
- Synology Introduces DiskStation DS119j
- Seagate Unveils 14TB data storage portfolio
- QNAP introduces new affordable 3-bay 10GbE NAS
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies