Toshiba Canvio Slim II doubles as personal cloud storage

canvioslimiiMost of us need greater access to our files than just the hard drive they’re stored on.

Services like SkyDrive and Dropbox are great but you don’t necessarily have physical control over the files you store there.

Toshiba has been producing portable hard drives for a little while now and it’s just released the new Canvio Slim II series.

Apart from your choice of 500GB or 1TB in a compact chassis not much larger than a 2.5-inch hard drive, the Canvio Slim II also has a neat trick – provided it’s plugged into a computer with internet access, you can gain access to the files from anywhere in the world, thanks to its PogoPlug PC5 software. What’s more, that access can be from mobile devices too – smartphones, tablets. You can check out the Android version of the Pogoplug app over at Google Play. (There’s also a version for iOS available on Apple’s App Store).

The drive also comes with 10GB of free cloud storage.

The drive features a USB3.0 interface, backward compatible with USB2.0. There are two versions for each capacity – one formatted to NTFS for Windows; the other formatted in HFS for Mac OS X computers. The NTFS-formatted drives also come with bundled NTFS drivers for Mac OS X computers, so you can easily swap between different platforms. You can also add password protection to provide some file protection.

The mechanics of the drives are that they’re 5400RPM types with 8MB of cache and include NTI Backup Now EZ PC backup software.

The design is sleek with its brushed-aluminium look and only 12.5mm thick.

The drives are available now from ToshibaDirect – $115 for the 500GB model; $150 for the 1TB version.

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