Maxtor OneTouch III Mini Edition
- Size and looks, Portability factor, Ease of use
- Location and aesthetics of OneTouch button, 100GB max capacity
If portability is your main concern when it comes to data storage, than the OneTouch III Mini is right up your alleyway.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Maxtor has continued their application of the convenient one touch backup feature with the release of the OneTouch III Mini Edition; a compact and portable storage solution with easy to use software that offers both synchronisation and security options.
Clearly marketed at the business professional who would like to carry their data in their pocket or laptop bag, the OneTouch III Mini has been designed with portability as the key factor. We were impressed by the dimensions of the unit; just 133mm x 90mm x 20mm. The Maxtor design team deserves some credit for the aesthetics of the unit as well, with the simple silver plastic finish surrounded with black rubber edges looking fairly good by hard disk standards. The latter also ensures the OneTouch III Mini can sit on a desk vertically as well as horizontally; pretty convenient we think.
Inside the OneTouch III Mini is a 5400RPM hard drive with a 480 MB/sec bus transfer rate. These are average figures and certainly nowhere near as fast as a standard internal hard drive, although you do have to factor in the miniscule size of this unit. The OneTouch III Mini uses a USB 2.0 interface and has a single standard USB connector at the rear of the unit. Unfortunately, the Mini does not include a FireWire interface.
The OneTouch III Mini also includes the OneTouch button on the front of the device. Pressing this button opens the backup settings software on your PC and from here on it is a simple matter of following the on-screen prompts to configure a backup. Our only complaint was with the button itself. Firstly, it requires a pretty firm press to activate and you really need two hands to do so (one to hold the unit and the other to push the button). Secondly, the button isn't in the best of locations, depending on how you sit the unit on your table. When the drive is sitting vertically, for example, the button would be far more intuitive on the black rubber edging, rather than its current location. Still, we are being our usual picky selves (otherwise known as doing our job) and it really won't pose that big of a problem for the average user.
The OneTouch button can also be configured to perform a number of other functions rather than backup. These include the ability to synchronize multiple folders on your computer to the OneTouch Mini or even use the button to open any application on your PC. Why you would need the latter in an era of keyboard shortcuts we have no idea, but it is included anyway.
The OneTouch III Mini is pleasingly easy to set up, when plugging it into our PC it was recognized as an external storage device almost immediately. The first time you connect the drive to your PC, you will be prompted to install the software which is stored on the actual drive itself rather than on a separate disk. A few minutes later the device was ready to be used.
The software itself has a pretty simple interface with large icons supported by text ensuring that most will have no problems working their way around. There are separate menus for Settings, Backup Restore, Sync and Rollback and descriptions of what exactly these functions do can be found once you select them. Again. Maxtor have really targeted those who may not have ever used a portable external hard drive before, so the Mini is definitely appealing to this type of market.
The Maxtor Sync software is capable of automatic synchronisation between two computers and the system roll back feature reverses harmful changes that may be caused by spyware or other malicious software. Maxtor haven't forgotten about security either and the OneTouch III Mini has two levels; the first is a software encryption which protects the data being lost or stolen and the second is the Maxtor DriveLock firmware allowing you to password protect your drive, ensuring your data doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
The OneTouch III is available in 60GB or 100Gb capacities. We would have liked to see a larger version or two, especially since many business professionals may need more than 100GB in this day and age. At this size however, our overall impression of the Mini is particularly impressive.
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