One of the things that you hear all the time as a photographer is to backup your images. For many of us, this means bringing a laptop with us on shoots to backup images on the spot, but this is far from an ideal solution. Laptops are big and can be annoying to lug around; that is where portable drives like the one we will be reviewing today come into play…
On the review table today, we have the Toshiba Canvio Aerocast, a 1TB harddrive with a built-in battery, WiFi connectivity, and more importantly, an SD card slot. Around this time last year, I reviewed the WD MyPassport Wireless 1TB drive, so I am excited to see Toshiba’s take on this portable drive niche.
The Toshiba Canvio Aerocast is a great piece of kit, let me tell you. Performance is as you would expect any USB 3 external drive to be: quick, snappy, and reliable. The WiFi connectivity is easy to set up and manage via your mobile device, so no issues there either.
Unfortunately, just as with the WD MyPassport Wireless drive, the SD card slot performance on this drive leaves a lot to be desired. If you need lightning fast transfer speeds from the SD to the drive, then look for another option. But, if you can enter your SD and forget it for a while, then a drive like this could be very helpful.
Battery life on this drive is pretty good, and it should be noted that battery is not required to use the device while it is connected to a computer via USB. The battery is only used/needed when the device is not connected via USB, like if you were out in the field connecting to it via WiFi or backing up an SD card.
I can’t say exactly how long the battery lasts, but it was sufficient for me to use it for several weeks without charging. (I did turn it off when it was not in use) Overall, I would say that battery life is not an issue or anything to be worried about with this drive.
This drive features USB 3, WiFi, an SD Card Slot and its own internal battery. This thing is like the swiss army knife of external drives. I have found that, for my shoots, it works great to pop in my SD card, and then review the images via my phone once they are loaded onto the drive.
Beyond a CF card version or NFC, there is not much else in the way of features that I can even think of for a device like this. So, for that reason, I am giving the device a full 5 out of 5 stars for its feature set.
The design of the Toshiba Canvio AeroCast is…how do I put it…perfect. Unlike my WD MyPassport Wireless, which is a bit of an eye sore, this Toshiba drive features a sleek all black design. I like the stealthy approach Toshiba took here; it is simple and clean.
The matte black styling, combined with the sleek rounded corners give the Toshiba Canvio Aerocast a stealthy feel that I prefer a lot over similar products on the market. The LEDs are in a good spot, and the power button and SD slot are right where they need to be. Overall, I don’t think I would change a thing about the design.
The Toshiba Canvio Aerocast feels like a quality product, but it isn’t something that I would say could take a beating. The casing is plastic, a nice solid plastic, but plastic nonetheless and I doubt if this would survive a drop from very high on any sort of hard surface.
That is not anything new for external drives, though, and that is not to say this drive will fall apart or crap out on you. Just take care of the drive, and it will work great. Don’t go taking it out into the wilderness or throwing it down some stairs and expect it to keep working.
I feel like the value here is pretty good. You get a 1TB external drive, which you can use like any other external drive. Plus you can access it wirelessly from your laptop or mobile device without needing it to be plugged in, AND you can back up your SD cards while on the go.
I picked this one up from Fry’s recently for $109, a great deal for 1TB of storage, let alone a drive with all the capabilities that this one has. The WD MyPassport Wireless is more expensive than this, but does not perform quite as well and doesn’t look nearly as good. So this is a great value in my book.
Overall, if you can live with the somewhat slow SD card backup performance, then this Toshiba Canvio Aerocast is a great way to backup your images in the field and have easy access to them via WiFi. The drive performs well and looks great, it’s not that expensive either, and for that reason we are happy to give the Toshiba Canvio Aerocast a solid 4 our 5 5 stars and a ‘Highly Recommended’ rating.
If you would like to get your hands on Toshiba Canvio Aerocast, you can find them over on B&H for just $129 (on sale from $149).