Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB portable HDD review

Toshiba Canvio Advance HDD


Build quality




Ease of use







  • Looks good for a HDD
  • 1 TB platter technology
  • Good read/write speeds
  • Compact
  • Decent price


  • There are faster out there
  • No travel pouch

canvio advance reviewToshiba recently refreshed their range of Canvio portable hard drives with the Canvio Premium, Advance and Basic models with capacities up to 3TB. I have been living with a rather swish-looking 2TB Canvio Advance drive.

I have been using a 3TB Canvio Premium for a year now. It is mostly used for backing up photos when I am doing shows just in case something happens to my laptop. It has served me very well and so I was very interested when Toshiba announced their latest models.

Canvio Advance design

canvio advance 2tbThe first thing I noticed about the drive I was sent to review was its colour. A gorgeous glossy blue. Now, I like blue, so this already had me looking at my silver Premium like it was a 70s sweater.

canvio premium and advanceThe Canvio Advance range has drive capacities of 1TB, 2TB and 3TB. By using Toshiba’s 1TB platter technology the drives are slimmer than previous models too. So the 2TB Advance I have here has a 14mm profile; that’s 5.5mm slimmer than previous versions. Above shows my Premium sat next to the less aerodynamically challenged Advance.

canvio advance portThe drive uses USB 3.0 and measures a rather pocketable 78 x 109 x 14mm. It also weighs a nicely portable 149g.

canvio advance status lightIn one corner there is a status light in a neat ring cut out. Yes, it is still blue, much to my delight.

Bundled in the box with the drive is a USB 3.0 Type A to Micro-B cable and some paperwork. The Canvio Advance’s manual also comes pre-loaded on the drive itself. No velvety carry pouch like the one I got with the Premium though.

That glossy finish, no matter how attractive it is, does tend to be a bit of a finger print magnet.

Canvio Advance performance

canvio advance rearThe new drive takes advantage of Toshiba’s latest 1TB platter technology. This not only allows for larger capacity drives in a 2.5-inch format, but also allows for the Canvio range to get more compact.

Like the rest of the new Canvio line-up, the Advance uses a standard USB3.0 interface with a 5,400rpm HDD on board.

Speed test

Just as I did with the Premium, I used CrystalMark to gain insight of the drive.

The utility stated that the drive uses a pair of 1TB platters with a spindle speed of 5,400rpm.

I used the drive straight out of the box, factory formatted as NTFS. Here are the details as shown by CrystalDiskInfo.

canvio cd infoThe sequential read/write scores are displayed by running CrystalDiskMark. I set up the Advance test just as I did with the Premium. This uses a 32GB file in order to test sequential and random read and write speeds.

toshiba canvio premium crystal markFirst, as a reminder, above is the Canvio Premium tested last year.

toshiba canvio advance crystal diskHere is how the new Canvio Advance fared. Now, I am using a newer version of Crystal Disk Mark but you can see the top rows are measuring the same. Here you can see quite an increase in performance. The writing scores all look more impressive across the board in the Advance.

On the whole the drive performed well when it came to dealing with real life file transfers.

Canvio Advance review conclusion

You might be asking yourself “who still uses portable hard drives in this, the age of the Cloud?” Well, me for a start. As I mentioned earlier, when attending multi-day shows such as Sound & Vision in Bristol and Mobile World Congress, I tend to bounce the day’s photos on to my laptop and also on to my Canvio Premium, just in case. Not only does that give me a back up, but not all hotels have super speedy internets that will enjoy taking 100+ RAW image files per day. Then there’s the video footage!

There may still be faster external HDDs out there but the Advance is smaller, lighter and faster than the Premium. So, to me at least, that makes it a worthwhile purchase.

In conclusion, it’s a good performer that offers a large capacity in a pocket-sized form-factor. Shove it in your laptop or camera bag and it will come in useful, I promise.

Price and availability

You can buy the Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB portable hard drive now. It is available in red, white, blue, or black for £79.99 from Amazon.

The 1TB versions can be had for £59.99.