PROS / This hard drive has a Kensington security slot for added protection.
CONS / When a Mac computer falls asleep, the drive ejects instead of staying in sleep mode.
VERDICT / This drive will effectively store your digital content but is lacking in features.
This product has been discontinued.
Hitachi is in the business of manufacturing external, internal and solid state drives. One of their best desktop external hard drives is the Hitachi XL1000. An included base allows the drive to stand vertically next to your computer, but it can also sit horizontally if you prefer. Although small in size, weighing only 2.09 pounds, this drive is actually quite rugged. It is also surprising that the Hitachi XL1000’s small size can hold up to 1TB worth of content.
A USB 2.0 connection allows you to transfer content from computer to drive at 480MB per second, and when not in use the drive slips into an energy-saving sleep mode. Because this hard drive is compatible with all versions of the latest Windows operating systems – Windows XP, Vista and 7 – the drive should instantly pop up with a “New Device Detected” window asking if you would like to install the device. From there a simple wizard should take you through the rest of the installation process. If you're using it with a Mac, the initial installation process should be just as easy.
To secure content transferred to Hitachi’s desktop external hard drive, automatic backup software is included. This software encrypts your content with a 448-bit encryption and has a password protection option as well. To ease your worries even further, this desktop hard drive saves up to 100 versions of a single file (based on your preferences) so you can reference back to changes and updates on a specific document. A Kensington security slot is also located on the back of the device for physical protection against theft.
When digging through your Hitachi XL1000s desktop external hard drive’s box for a user manual, you’ll be disappointed to find only a simple pamphlet that shows you how to plug in the drive – but nothing more. We think any device that requires a software installation or any device that you’re entrusting with valuable content should include an in-depth instruction manual, whether online or printed.
Hitachi’s website isn’t much help either. In fact, when researching a common issue for Mac users, we were unable to find assistance. You see, when a Mac computer falls asleep, the drive ejects instead of falling into sleep mode with the computer. It seems as if Hitachi is aware of this issue, but we were unable to find any documented assistance concerning the matter on their website. If you have time to wait on hold, a help line is available for over-the-phone support. On the plus side, Hitachi does include a one-year warranty to protect you against defects.
All in all, we wish the Hitachi XL1000 had a few more features and better tech support. We would have liked to see customizable backup options, built-in diagnostics and a power switch to save energy when the drive isn’t in use. However, this desktop external hard drive does have several things going for it. Not only does it have the capacity to hold 1TB of content, but that data can be transferred fairly quickly at 480MB per second. It also has a rugged design that lends itself to easy travel if you need data storage on the go. While it's not the best on the market, this desktop external hard drive can store and back up your data effectively.