Toshiba 640GB Portable Hard Drive Review

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Toshiba 640GB Portable Hard Drive Review Listen to this article

Update: This giveaway is now closed and timtim is the winner. Thank you for entering, and please keep an eye out for future Gear Diary giveaways! 🙂

Toshiba 640GB Portable Hard Drive Review

I was sent a Toshiba 640GB Portable Hard Drive in “Rocket Red” to review, but since this one will also be given away, I was hesitant to use and abuse it like I might a memory device I would be keeping. Therefore, in return for this micro-review, you get a chance to win a pocket-size time capsule just waiting to be filled with your important documents and digital memories.

Measuring approximately 5″ long x 3″ wide x 0.6″ thick, this Toshiba drive has no buttons and only one port – a mini USB located on the left side. Included in the box is a 12″ long USB cable, and a warranty booklet in nine languages.

Toshiba 640GB Portable Hard Drive Review

Setup is simple – just plug the mini USB into the drive and connect to your computer and wait for the blue LED on the bottom left to indicate that the drive is engaged.

I was annoyed at first that I had to carry a separate cable to make the hard drive work, as opposed to one that was built into the device, but this honestly makes more sense – – cables can fail, and if the cable is built into the hard drive, it will not be easily replaceable. Sure, it’s one more thing to carry, but the cable is small enough not to be too obnoxious.


  • USB powered for easy plug and play operation
  • Small footprint for space-saving and easy portability
  • Easy-to-use Windows and Mac backup software
  • Password-protected data encryption
  • File & Folder backup and recovery
  • Drive Space Alert
  • Complete system backup and recovery (Windows only)
  • Internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology help protect your drive and data
  • Preloaded backup software provides an easy-to-use interface to make your backups effortless


  • Interface: USB 2.0 with up to 480Mb/s transfer rate
  • Rotational Speed: Up to 5400RPM
  • Average Seek Time: 12ms
  • Cache Buffer: 8MB
  • Preloaded software: NTI® Backup Now EZ™ for PC; NTI® Shadow™ 4 for Mac
  • Dimensions & Weight: 3.2” W x 5.0” D x 0.65” H; 6 oz
  • System requirements: Windows 72, Windows XP, Vista , Mac OS 10.4 or later; one USB 2.0 port
  • In the box: One Toshiba Portable External Hard Drive, USB 2.0 Cable and Quick Install Guide
  • Three-year limited warranty

I use a Mac, so my obvious choice for using this hard drive would be to simply plug it in and then select it for use with Time Machine, but there is also a registered copy of Shadow 4 included for those who would like to try something new. Windows users can select the NTI Backup Now EZ option; those using 7 will want to download the compatibility patch. When you first plug-in the hard drive, it will sense what type system you are using and (assuming you are on a MAc), it will ask if you would like the hard drive to be formatted for Mac only or so that it can also be read by Windows PCs; I suggest you select the latter, as every time I have set a hard drive up for Mac only, I’ve later needed to connect it to a Windows box for something. 😛

The Toshiba 640GB Portable Hard Drive in “Rocket Red” is available from Toshiba Direct and other retailers.

MSRP: $129.99, but it can be found for less than $90

What I Like: A huge amount of memory in a portable hard drive

What Needs Improvement: Having to use an external cable does mean one more thing to carry — but it also means if the cable fails it can be replaced

How To Win:

Leave a comment telling me the size of your largest external backup solution (portable or desktop) and a rough guess of what you paid for it. I will choose one random winner at Midnight, Monday March 15. I’ll email the winner and also post an announcement on Tuesday the 16th, so keep an eye out …

I’ll ship anywhere in the world, so good luck to all who enter! 🙂

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Editor in Chief of Gear Diary, Secular Humanist, techie, foodie, hoarder of Kindle eBooks, lover of live music, and collector of passport stamps.