Hitachi XL Desktop Drive
A high capacity Hitachi external hard drive
- Reasonable asking price, 2TB storage, simple backup software included
- Slow simultaneous read/write speeds, bulky design, USB 2.0 only
The Hitachi XL Desktop Drive offers plenty of storage at a price that wont break the bank. Sadly it's a little on the slow side.
Price$ 250.00 (AUD)
The Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is a 3.5in external hard drive with a massive 2TB capacity (a cheaper 1TB version is also available). It comes with easy to use backup software, it's a cool operator and it isn’t too painful to look at.
Unfortunately, the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive isn’t particularly fast when it comes to file transfers, and it only comes with a USB 2.0 connection (so no eSATA or FireWire). It is also imposingly sized. Nonetheless, if you require a reasonably priced external hard drive with oodles of storage space, we suppose it will fit the bill.
The Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is an interesting looking beast. With its curious contours and matte black finish, it strikes an unusual balance between stylish and boring; like a geography teacher wearing a swanky beret. The casing is bereft of adornment, with the sole exception of a Hitachi logo that lights up when the drive is switched on.
All in all, it’s a fairly pedestrian looking device, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (Does everything you own have to look sexy? We fail to see the point of a tarted up hard drive. What’s next, a designer Wi-Fi router? Ahem.)
With dimensions of 186x132x51mm, the Hitachi XL is definitely on the bulky side for an external hard drive. [Well, it is called the Hitachi ‘XL’. -- Ed.]. If you keep a cluttered desktop you might find it hard to make space for this behemoth. On the plus side, Hitachi has included a stand that lets you prop the device up vertically, like the Western Digital My Passport range.
In addition to the stand, the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is bundled with the obligatory mini-USB cable, as well as an assortment of power adaptors for different regions. This could prove handy if you regularly travel overseas (it’s one less device you need to buy an international adaptor for). However, we found the cheap-feeling, plastic connectors to be quite finicky. In fact, we couldn’t get the Australian adaptor to work at all. We were consequently forced to use a power supply unit of our own. Our advice: try before you buy.
The drive remained cool during operation; this probably has a lot to do with the gargantuan enclosure. The Hitachi logo — which is quite large — flickers annoyingly whenever the drive is in use. Terrifyingly, there is no option to switch this feature off. As you’d imagine, this is especially irksome if you have a headache or are in the dark.
In order to see how the Hitachi external hard drive would fare under a variety of circumstances, we used a PC equipped with a Core i7-965 CPU, 6GB of DDR3 memory and 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor hard drive, running Windows Vista 64-bit.
Our test files include a 3GB batch of 1MB files as well as a 20GB folder of 3-4GB files.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Hitachi XL Desktop Drive||$250.00||2TB||USB 2.0||19.1||8.2||5.8|
|Western Digital My Book 3.0||$249.99||1TB||USB 2.0||25.6||17.6||11.4|
|Western Digital My Book Elite||$399.99||2TB||USB 2.0||24.6||15.2||10.2|
|LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive||$199||1TB||USB 2.0||28.8||17.1||10.5|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||USB 2.0||23.4||15||10.7|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Hitachi XL Desktop Drive||$250.00||2TB||USB 2.0||29.7||22.6||12.6|
|Western Digital My Book 3.0||$249.99||1TB||USB 2.0||28.5||24.9||12.7|
|Western Digital My Book Elite||$399.99||2TB||USB 2.0||27.7||24.1||11.3|
|LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive||$199||1TB||USB 2.0||30.3||25.7||12.7|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||USB 2.0||26.7||25.1||12.7|
As you can see, the the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive didn't fare too well — especially when it came to simultaneous read/write speeds. Operations involving lots of small files were very sluggish indeed. If you’re specifically looking for a backup solution that will chug away in the background, the Hitachi XL Desktop Drive is a reasonable proposition. On the other hand, if you require a high-capacity drive for everyday use, you might want to go with something a bit faster.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Sport AT
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Tivoli PAL BT
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- QNAP introduces new HS-453DX silent NAS
- Synology introduces DiskStation DS1819+ and RackStation RS1619xs+
- OVH and MyRepublic partner to improve connectivity for Australian gamers
- Norton Secure VPN adds New Zealand server
- Western Digital releases new WD Gaming Drive
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?