Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB review


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 Read Seq 512K 4K 4K QD32
Toshiba Canvio Premium 118 43 0.5 0.6
Samsung T3 386 351 33 35
Sandisk Z410 508 357 13 146
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 502 447 45 368
Samsung 850 Evo 513 472 38 408
Samsung 840 Evo 515 473 35 397
Corsair Neutron GTX 450 376 27 328
CDM 3 Write Seq 512K 4K 4K QD32
Toshiba Canvio Premium 117 50 1.3 1.3
Samsung T3 357 352 69 77
Sandisk Z410 407 355 97 250
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 474 394 113 316
Samsung 850 Evo 504 479 68 352
Samsung 840 Evo 500 390 86 313
Corsair Neutron GTX 480 468 69 158

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 Read Seq 4K 4K QD64 Acc. Time Score
Toshiba Canvio Premium 113 0.5 0.6 23.021 12
Samsung T3 345 24 32 0.100 91
Sandisk Z410 501 11 145 0.045 206
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 493 40 328 0.093 417
Samsung 850 Evo 516 34 382 0.059 467
Samsung 840 Evo 513 32 330 0.059 413
Corsair Neutron GTX 507 25 334 0.068 N/A
AS SSD Write Seq 4K 4K QD64 Acc. Time Score
Toshiba Canvio Premium 111 0.5 0.5 17.566 12
Samsung T3 367 56 71 0.055 163
Sandisk Z410 407 78 215 0.237 333
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 475 95 251 0.075 393
Samsung 850 Evo 497 66 299 0.051 415
Samsung 840 Evo 497 69 207 0.054 326
Corsair Neutron GTX >473 62 295 0.062 N/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 Read 1KB 4KB 64KB 256KB 1MB 8MB
Toshiba Canvio Premium 9 33 117 117 117 118
Samsung T3 18 67 329 371 377 404
Sandisk Z410 78 247 518 531 536 533
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 83 286 537 553 552 553
Samsung 850 Evo 80 269 538 551 558 558
Samsung 840 Evo 94 280 535 551 555 555
Corsair Neutron GTX 15 61 336 452 530 540
Atto Write 1KB 4KB 64KB 256KB 1MB 8MB
Toshiba Canvio Premium 10 41 115 115 116 116
Samsung T3 20 71 315 365 366 388
Sandisk Z410 69 184 419 423 426 428
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 79 251 510 526 525 525
Samsung 850 Evo 83 255 519 529 534 534
Samsung 840 Evo 81 260 515 527 533 534
Corsair Neutron GTX 15 142 474 470 493 498

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 Read Average Access Time Burst Rate
Toshiba Canvio Premium 114 MB/s 17.9 ms 139.6 MB/s
Samsung T3 269 MB/s 0.090 ms 171 MB/s
Sandisk Z410 358 MB/s 0.035 ms 140 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 321 MB/s 0.087 ms 221 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo 370 MB/s 0.044 ms 250 MB/s
Samsung 840 Evo 358 MB/s 0.041 ms 231 MB/s
Corsair Neutron GTX 340 MB/s 0.059 ms 231 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


6 responses to “Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB review”

  1. 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. 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. 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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