Falling prices in storage is nothing new, but finding 1TB of desktop storage for under £70 is, in this early part of 2009 at least, a noteworthy event. Especially when it's from Toshiba, a recognised name in the trade rather than just an unbranded item of uncertain pedigree. Consider then, the Toshiba Store Alu 3.5.

The Toshiba Store Alu 3.5 drive is a compact design, little larger than the 3.5in HDD it houses. It comes assembled with a platform foot on one edge, somewhat in the style of LaCie's d2 series, and like these the stand can be detached by removing two screws. Once detached it can be easily sited horizontally. Its casework is folded aluminium, neatly rather than perfectly finished.

On the rear of the Toshiba Store Alu 3.5 is a 12V DC power input (external power is always required for 3.5in disks), a USB Type B socket, a power on/off rocker switch, plus a cutout for a Kensington cable lock.

No cooling fans are included, making for a quiet storage solution that can peacefully sit right on the desk. In use the Toshiba Store Alu 3.5's case got only slightly warm, with the aluminium housing no doubt helping to dissipate unwanted heat.

In our speed tests, the Toshiba Store Alu 3.5 recorded average read speeds of 32.8MBps in HDTach, with a write average of 23.9MBps. Random access time was 14ms, giving a tally of scores that suggests that this 7200rpm drive has average performance, reined in principally by the USB 2.0 interface.


It’s no performance speed demon, but the Toshiba Store Alu 3.5 is a competently made, smartly finished external storage device of huge capacity, sold at an unmissable price.