Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB review

Reviews, Storage


The Toshiba Canvio Premium is a modern external hard drive, with a sleek aluminium enclosure, USB 3.1 / USB Type-C support and a full complement of bundled software. Read on for our full review.


  • Well-built enclosure
  • USB-A and USB-C connectors
  • Useful software bundled

  • Flash drives are faster
  • Price is £20 above other 1TB drives

Summary and Score

score8-gif-200The Canvio Premium lives up to its name, with a well-built enclosure, multiple connectivity options and some useful added software at a premium price. There are cheaper 1TB external hard drives on the market, but if want something more then the Canvio Premium certainly delivers.

See Toshiba Canvio Premium on Amazon

Specifications & Design


  • Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 3TB
  • Colours: Silver metallic, dark grey
  • Connectors: USB 3.0 Type A, USB 3.1 Type-C (via bundled adapter)
  • Dimensions: 109 x 78 x 13.5mm
  • Weight: 165 grams
  • Warranty: 3 years

The Canvio Premium sets itself apart from the crowd with its shiny aluminium design, which looks good and also should provide a good measure of protection against knocks and bumps. There’s a wee light in the corner, and a bevelled edge top and bottom.



The bundle provided includes the drive itself and the cables needed to connect it: a USB 3.0 Micro-B cable and a Type-C adapter which will work well on Chromebooks and the new MacBook. There’s also a soft pouch to keep the drive safe from damage while travelling, and a spread of literature including a quick start guide (physical) and a user manual (stored on the drive itself).


NTI Backup Now EZ (PC, Mac): Automatic backups to the Canvio Premium or cloud providers. Sensibly arranged, easy to use.


Toshiba Password Lock (PC, Mac): Locks the drive, disallowing access until a password is entered. A hint can be set, and the drive erased if the password is forgotten. Dead simple but seems to work well.

Note: the HDD password tool seems to have disappeared from all but Toshiba’s German site. For that reason, you can download the tool from XSReviews here if you need to unlock the drive and don’t have it on hand.



Pogoplug (PC, Mac): Cloud storage, 10GB included with drive purchase. I prefer the features and ubiquity of Dropbox, but always nice to have free cloud storage.


Tuxera NTFS (Mac): mounts the default NTFS partition; you can also choose to reformat the drive as HFS+ to use it for Time Machine.


The Samsung T3 will be going against some tough competition, including the value-focused Sandisk Z410 and enthusiast grade drives from Samsung and Corsair. That includes the Samsung 850 Evo, which we’ve now tested in both M.2 and 2.5-inch forms, and is coincidentally also the drive at the heart of the T3.


We’ll be testing the Samsung T3 in our new test rig, which has a Core i5 6600K processor, 16GB of Crucial DDR4 RAM and runs Windows 10. We’re plugging into the USB 3.1 Type-A SuperSpeed port in the back.

Thanks to NZXT for providing the Manta case and Kraken X61 liquid cooler. Thanks to Samsung for providing the Evo 850 M.2 boot drive. Thanks to Zoostorm and Crucial for providing the DDR4 RAM.


CrystalDiskMark has been one of my favourite benchmarks for evaluating storage speeds for a while now, thanks to its varied incompressible workload and extremely readable results. Here’s the 3.0.3 x64 version of the benchmark; all results are in MB/s.

CDM 3 ReadSeq512K4K4KQD32
Toshiba Canvio Premium118430.50.6
Samsung T33863513335
Sandisk Z41050835713146
Samsung 850 Evo M.250244745368
Samsung 850 Evo51347238408
Samsung 840 Evo51547335397
Corsair Neutron GTX45037627328
CDM 3 WriteSeq512K4K4KQD32
Toshiba Canvio Premium117501.31.3
Samsung T33573526977
Sandisk Z41040735597250
Samsung 850 Evo M.2474394113316
Samsung 850 Evo50447968352
Samsung 840 Evo50039086313
Corsair Neutron GTX48046869158

2016-09-06 14_40_39-

The Canvio Premium hits nearly 120 MB/s when reading and writing sequential data, which is pretty good for a mechanical USB 3.0 drive. It pales in comparison to the (admittedly much more expensive) Samsung T3 though, which uses flash memory. We’d expect these results to continue throughout.

AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD is another benchmarking tool quite similar to CrystalDiskMark, which uses predominantly incompressible data across a range of workloads including sequential tests, random performance and access times. First three numbers are MB/s and access time is in ms.

AS SSD ReadSeq4K4K QD64Acc. TimeScore
Toshiba Canvio Premium1130.50.623.02112
Samsung T334524320.10091
Sandisk Z410501111450.045206
Samsung 850 Evo M.2493403280.093417
Samsung 850 Evo516343820.059467
Samsung 840 Evo513323300.059413
Corsair Neutron GTX507253340.068N/A
AS SSD WriteSeq4K4K QD64Acc. TimeScore
Toshiba Canvio Premium1110.50.517.56612
Samsung T336756710.055163
Sandisk Z410407782150.237333
Samsung 850 Evo M.2475952510.075393
Samsung 850 Evo497662990.051415
Samsung 840 Evo497692070.054326
Corsair Neutron GTX>473622950.062N/A

2016-09-06 17_40_41-AS SSD Benchmark 1.7.4739.38088

Once again, we see a sequential read and write speed a bit under 120 MB/s, which falls to 0.5 MB/s when it comes to random performance. That’s to be expected from a mechanical drive, due to the physical movements required for the drive to reach each new block of data. Access time is also much slower than flash-based storage, hitting 17.6ms and 23ms for reading and writing, respectively.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO produces rather less comprehensible results than CrystalDiskMark, but still provides a good test of compressible data transfer. It also provides a lot of data points; I’ve selected six from across the range. Settings were the default: 256MB total length and queue depth of 4, testing from 1KB to 8MB. All results are in MB/s.

Atto Read1KB4KB64KB256KB1MB8MB
Toshiba Canvio Premium933117117117118
Samsung T31867329371377404
Sandisk Z41078247518531536533
Samsung 850 Evo M.283286537553552553
Samsung 850 Evo80269538551558558
Samsung 840 Evo94280535551555555
Corsair Neutron GTX1561336452530540
Atto Write1KB4KB64KB256KB1MB8MB
Toshiba Canvio Premium1041115115116116
Samsung T32071315365366388
Sandisk Z41069184419423426428
Samsung 850 Evo M.279251510526525525
Samsung 850 Evo83255519529534534
Samsung 840 Evo81260515527533534
Corsair Neutron GTX15142474470493498

2016-09-06 14_46_42-

Trends continue in the ATTO benchmark, with the drive reaching its maximum performance of around 115 MB/s once block sizes reached 64KB.

HD Tune Pro

We conclude with HD Tune Pro, a benchmark which produces three scores for average read speed, read access time, and burst read rate.

HD Tune Pro 5.50 ReadAverageAccess TimeBurst Rate
Toshiba Canvio Premium114 MB/s17.9 ms139.6 MB/s
Samsung T3269 MB/s0.090 ms171 MB/s
Sandisk Z410358 MB/s0.035 ms140 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo M.2321 MB/s0.087 ms221 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo370 MB/s0.044 ms250 MB/s
Samsung 840 Evo358 MB/s0.041 ms231 MB/s
Corsair Neutron GTX340 MB/s0.059 ms231 MB/s

2016-09-06 13_08_24-HD Tune 2.55 - Hard Disk Utility

You can see that performance degrades slowly over time here, with the maximum speed of 114 MB/s hit early on, then slowly falling to around 55 MB/s. Access time also slowly increases.


The Toshiba Canvio Premium won’t be winning any speed tests against flash-based drives, but this is still plenty fast enough for cheap mechanical storage. The solid build quality and added software of the Canvio Premium make it a solid choice, although its price point isn’t low enough to guarantee a recommendation every time. Shop around for other drives, but keep the Canvio Premium in mind if you’re willing to pay a little extra for a well-built and well-supported drive.

See Toshiba Canvio Premium on Amazon


Last modified: February 22, 2018

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6 Responses to :
Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB review

  1. Rob Ottowsays:

    Is the Password Protection Software available anywhere to download ? I have password protected my drive, laptop needed to be reset and now I don’t have the software anymore. It is on the HDD but that is locked. Can you help please

    1. I’m afraid I don’t have the drive or a copy of the software anywhere. Please contact Toshiba support or the retailer you purchased it from. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

      1. Rob Ottowsays:

        Hi William, thanks for your reply. I have managed to obtain a copy from Toshiba Germany website of all places. Drive is unlocked and works perfectly.

        1. Great work! Could you share the link here so that other people in the same situation could benefit?

          1. Rob Ottowsays:

            Hi William,

            here is the link.
            I am having issues posting it, can you post it for me please ?

            Thanks again for your help,

            Kind Regards


          2. Will do, thanks Rob!

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