When we were offered the test of this Toshiba Canvio Flex edition 2021 we asked ourselves what are the reasons why today a user should buy an external USB mechanical drive: after some consultations with colleagues and friends we have opted that this solution is ideal. as a backup, as a transit unit for important transfers and as a disk to have in your backpack for transporting documents to virtually any computer.
In the box
And it is precisely from compatibility that our examination begins with the small Toshiba Canvio Flex: in fact, in addition to the actual disk, there are two cables, one USB-A and one USB-C, suitable for practically covering all computers in commerce, whether they are Windows, Mac, iOS or Android.
The two colors, black and white, which distinguish the cables, are useful because, taking them from the bag, we are not wrong (the writer knows this from experience).
The unit tested weighed just 149 grams, given that it was a 1TB drive, which increases to 210 grams for the 4TB one: the same for the dimensions, which are 80x111x13.5 mm for the 1 or 2 drives TB and raising the thickness to 19.5 mm for the largest unit.
The profile of the Toshiba Canvio Flex is elegant, a white plastic boat with the top in satin gray
The shape of the Toshiba Canvio Flex is that of a parallelepiped in white plastic, with a side embossed belt and the upper part in satin light gray, where the brand resides.
We don't know if this is intentional or not, but the puck stands upright by itself, thanks to the belt, which can be an advantage in some situations.
The only quirk, so to speak, is a small blue light accompanying a vertex, which indicates the connection (static) and the reading or writing (when it pulses).
The result is a beautiful design to look at, an extreme elegance in a product now common in anyone's desks: the only flaw, the cables are a bit short, which is fine if you use it with a laptop, less so with a fixed one, where disc location may need longer cable.
In this regard, however, Amazon offers an incredible amount of USB cables in all price ranges, like this one for the connection with USB-A and this other for the USB-C connection, even if maybe even just a small extension cable is enough.
The only “habit” is a blue led on the vertex that indicates its activity
How it works
The disk arrives in an exFAT formatted drive, which means that in practice it can be used on any device, except on some Smart TVs (where the FAT32 format is required and in NAS, where access to exFAT disks is subject to a fee) .
Tested on a Mac mini with macOS Big Sur, the drive offered very good read and write speeds via USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 1) for a mechanical drive (as seen in the image below), a sign that the technology it is now mature even in the smallest 2.5 ″ units.
The unit is perfect for a backup via Time Machine or from a third-party software (as we operated during the test), but as mentioned it also lends itself to a disk suitable for transporting different files from one computer to another or, for those who travel frequently, as an addition to their computer's internal drive.
Toshiba Canvio Flex is basically a good solution for different types of use: the price / performance ratio is good, the design is excellent and the size / weight factor is really minimal for a mechanical drive.
The only advice we allow ourselves to give is to opt for a drive of at least 2 TB, preferably 4 TB: a 1 TB external drive in 2021 has minimal utility, even when combined with a Mac or PC with 256 GB, because with the same size / weight and with a minimum difference, the capacity is doubled, with a much higher intrinsic value.
Via USB-C it can also be connected to mobile devices
• Excellent design • Light and silent
• The 1 TB drive makes little sense • Cables are very short
• 61.66 Euro (1TB) • 85.99 Euro (2TB) • 135.35 Euro (4TB)
Toshiba Canvio Flex is available in stores suggested by the Italian website of the parent company or you can find it more conveniently also at Amazon.it