Maxtor OneTouch IV Mini 250GB Review

Maxtor OneTouch IV

The Maxtor OneTouch IV Mini series of 2.5″ external hard-disk drives are, as the name suggests, manufactured by Maxtor, a subsidiary of Seagate Technology. Today, we’ll look at the Maxtor OneTouch IV Mini 250GB HDD, the tiniest (tiniest indeed) member of the current Maxtor product line up.

 

First lets have a look at the build quality and design. The external drive is designed and cased well using metal and rubber. Being a portable drive, and a good one at that, Maxtor has done well to make sure the drive can survive some drops and dents. Its really small and thin, fits beautifully in your shirt pocket and is lite enough to remain there for a long time. The body frame is covered with rubber and so is the bottom. The upperside is built of aluminum and if you press it, you can actually feel the cushion system implemented in the drive by Maxtor because the aluminum roof visibly gets pressed inside!Maxtor OneTouch IV Thin

 

Maxtor OneTouch IV

 

It definitely looks good and elegant and unlike the glossy MyBooks it doesn’t attract too many fingerprints, oil smudges and dust. It also does a great job of complementing my MacBook Pro and actually can easily blend in with just any cabinet and laptop because of its dual shade and perfectly done serenity.

On the length side of the frame is a Y type USB connector and on the breadth side is a bluish white activity light which also doubles up as the ‘OneTouch’ button.

Design and Build Quality:5 Stars

 

Now coming up to its features and bundle.  Not much to speak here since it doesn’t have many at all. One strange thing here is the connector cable provided by Maxtor. First of all, it has two USB heads (the normal ones with which you connect the HDD to your computer). One of them reads ‘POWER + DATA’ while the other one reads ‘POWER’. This can be a real problem because most laptops only have 2 – 3 USB ports to offer and all of them captured by the HDD can be irksome. Though the drive works fine with just the Power + Data cable connected, Maxtor recommends to connect both heads and they also recommend against using a flimsy one headed cable, like the one that comes with your digital camera. The second thing thats strange about the cable is its length. The 3 headed (2 USB & 1 Y type) cable which is already so short is linked with the Power + Data USB in between rather the Y type. This causes a strange loop formation if the USB connecters in your computer are close (which is usually the case). But even after the strange cable, it is really nice and helpful to get rid of the AC adapter!

 

Maxtor Mini Cable

 

Maxtor OneTouch IV

 

The software which ships with the HDD is, in one word, pathetic. | {The HDD comes formatted in NTFS so Mac users might prefer to copy the data before initializing the disk} | The Maxtor self designed and manufactured software is amazingly inefficient and irksome. On the Mac, it simply fails to recognize the drive forget about everything else. On the PC things improve but only ever so slightly! It manages to recognize and register the drive with Maxtor’s website but beyond that its useless and a resource hog while performing stupefyingly slow and erratic backups. The only 2 nifty features of the software are the OneTouch button configuration and data encryption!

I would strongly recommend getting something like EMC Retrospect for performing backups on the PC and Mac (though there are some ways like the Automator to configure the button to perform a Time Machine backup instead!)

Features and Bundles:2 Stars

 

And finally we come to performance. It is a really speedy drive, though not a monster, but far above average! With some excellent write speeds, it easily beats a majority of its competitors in the market. 

The performance charts :

All figures are time (in seconds)                                                                                                               Shorter bars are faster

2.5 Ext HDD Performance

Withe the fastest read speeds and equally blazing write speeds, its no brainer that the drive is a show stealer!

Performance:5 Stars

 

Overall, the Maxtor OneTouch IV Mini HDD is a great external drive, highly portable and an excellent performer but unlike its cousin the Seagate FreeAgent Go, which bundles the stunning Creedo software, it fails to impress with its bundles! Whats more, at a price point of $99 (from BestBuy) for the 250 GB version its a great drive meant to both, stay on the table and in you pocket.

Price: ~$110

Overall:Star 4

Value for Money:Star 4

Good: Excellent performance, great looks and sturdy.

Bad: Horrible software package, strange irksome and short connector cable.

 

 

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~ by Avi on June 29th, 2008.

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