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(Pocket-lint) - With your digital life piling up, having a place to store everything is becoming more and more important. Enter Toshiba with the Toshiba Store alu, a 2.5-inch portable drive that comes in a range of storage sizes. But is it the ultimate storing place? We get saving files to find out.

The Toshiba Store alu is a small metal drive with a minimalist design that comes in storage sizes up to 500GB (we've reviewed the 250GB model here). There is a power button on the front, a USB and power connection at the back. About the size of a Moleskine notepad (one of the smaller ones not those big A5 ones) the aluminium case offers both a sleek design and protective case.

Without the need of power, you can run it off a single USB 2.0 port, although you do get a USB cable in the box that comes with a second USB plug if you need the extra port to get enough power to get you going.

Connecting the drive to your PC or Mac fires up the power button that also happens to be a status light. Red means you need more power (i.e., plug in the second USB connector), blue means you're up and running.

Once connected all that is left for you to do is to transfer files to and from it. In our tests, the drive, which is virtually silent, lets you transfer files quickly with little fuss. A 2.04GB MP4 file took 1 minute 45 seconds to copy to the drive; quick.

For those who like numbers the drive operates at a transfer speed of 480MBps with the drive sporting an 8MB buffer. Drive rotation is 4200rpm with the track to track seek time (read/write) 2.0ms.

Back in the real world and it means the drive is good enough for your most of your average storage needs. Playback of files is fast enough to use this as a drive for streaming media and the small size means you can hide it and forget about it.


There isn't much to say about the Toshiba Store alu because it just works. With such a minimalist design all you have to worry about is a having a spare USB 2.0 socket.

Hard drives are boring things, but at least this one makes saving your files easy peasy.

Writing by Stuart Miles.