Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review, 9 Points for a Mac User

By Paul Gregory / January 8, 2020
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review

MacTakeAwayData Rank – 7.5 stars out of 10

7.5 Stars Out of 10 Stars

Your Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable external drive is not just for a Windows PC.

And you as a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac user can use it perfectly well on your Mac.

Canvio Basics on Mac Pros

Canvio Basics on Mac Cons

Canvio Basics on Mac Verdict

The Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB portable hard drive is one of the best selling drives on the marketplace.

And for good reason.

You buy a Canvio Basics when you don’t want the frills that drive the price of a hard drive up.

And when you’re not bothered about jazzy colors for your hard drive. You just want reliable storage at a good price.

Toshiba Canvio Basics YouTube Video

It’s always interesting to take a peek at what’s in the box before you buy. And this is exactly what this 2 minutes 35 seconds YouTube unboxing video shows you.

I hope you enjoy it.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive

Video Credit: SuperFjordmannen

Toshiba Canvio Basics Front

Click on the picture to check out the Toshiba Canvio Basics on Amazon (Commissions Earned)

Your Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Mac Review Features Run Down

You probably think that the Canvio Basics drive is only for a Windows PC.

But you’d be wrong.

You’ll find out here that your Toshiba Basics drive has plenty to offer you as a Mac owner.

Particularly when you’re out there searching for external storage at an affordable price.

Here are your 9 advantage points when you choose this drive for your Mac.

Plug In USB Icon

1. Toshiba Basics 1TB plugging Into Your Mac.

Your Toshiba Canvio Basics is a USB 3.0 drive.

What does this mean?

USB is an international standard for connecting external devices. And it’s a standard that your Mac uses.

Your Mac will see your Basics drive is connected. And is able to use your Basics drive.

Your Toshiba Basics takes its power from your Mac’s USB port when you plug in your USB cable.

The cable shipped with your Toshiba Basics has a Type A USB connection at the end that plug into your Mac. And type Micro B USB at the end that plugs into the Canvio Basics drive.

Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Port
Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Micro B Port

There is no extra power cable for you to worry about and remember.

This which makes things simple when you’re taking this drive with you.

As long as you plug your Mac into power. Or your Mac has enough battery you’ll be fine.

2. Your Older Mac with USB 2.0 ports

The USB 3.0 standard allows for backwards compatibility with USB 2.0.

But Apple Macs conform strictly to the USB 2.0 port standards on power draw.

And there’s been quite a few reports. Reports of the Canvio Basics hard drive failing to start up on older Macs with USB 2.0 only ports.

If you’ve an older Mac, you should get around this by connecting your Basics drive using a USB hub.

A hub that has its own power supply with USB 3.0 ports.

On older Macs with USB 2.0 ports the Canvio Basics set up isn’t quite so convenient.

Unless you already have a powered USB hub, you may be better looking an alternative drive.

USB C Icon

3. What About Plugging in a Canvio Basics 1TB into my Mac with a Thunderbolt Port?

Because of backwards compatibility. Even though the USB C and the USB A ports are physically different.

As long as you have already. Or you buy a Thunderbolt or USB C to USB Micro B adaptor.

You can plug your Toshiba Canvio Basics right into your Mac.  

And have yourself a really cost effective solution. Certainly compared to the cost of Thunderbolt native drives. My favorite adaptor cable is the AmazonBasics USB Type-C to Micro B 3 foot cable. (Commissions Earned)

And it’s longer than the standard USB cable that comes with the 1TB Basics drive. Giving you more flexibility on where you can put the drive when you’re using it.

4. What about the Canvio Basics NTFS Formatting on Mac?

Yes, your Toshiba Canvio Basics is formatted as NTFS.

Your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac can read any files on the drive. But can’t put new files onto the Toshiba Canvio Basics.

Or update any files on there.

This means that for you to use your Canvio Basics on your Mac the formatting has to change.

Or you pay for a software driver that leaves the drive in the same format. But allows your Mac to read and write to your Basics external hard drive.

You can find out about software options in the post link here.

Or you spend 5 minutes using standard software on your Mac called Disk Utility.


You’ll find an article on the site that tells you how to format your Toshiba drive. Take a look.

Or if you’re interested in learning how to make your Canvio Basics an ExFAT drive. And share between a Mac and Windows PC. Take a look at my article about setting up a hard drive to share with a Mac and PC.

5. Canvio Basic Design and Capacity

You’ll find its name gives the game away. The Toshiba Canvio Basics is just what it says.

It’s a basic hard drive with nothing extra added.

The Canvio Basic comes in matt black. With the raised words Toshiba imprinted on the drive in a darker shade of black.

Toshiba Canvio Basics
Toshiba Canvio Basics

There are no fancy colors here.

If you’re looking for fancy colors then you’ll need to step up to the Canvio Advance.

There’s an LED that tells you when the Canvio Basics is powered and working.

Your model numbers and the associated drive capacities are:

  • 1TB – HDTB410XK3AA
  • 2TB – HDTB420XK3AA
  • 4TB – HDTB330XK3CA

Toshiba replaced its 3TB Canvio Basics hard drive with a 4TB upgrade late 2018.

You can view the 2018 press release with this link here.

You’ll find with the Canvio Basics there are enough storage options for your growing collection of photos, videos and movies.

Scales Icon

6. Toshiba Canvio Basics Size and Weight

You’ll find the Canvio Basic is portable and fits easily in your hand.

You’ve a handy sized external drive that measures;

  • 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.55 inches, for the 1TB and 2TB Canvio Basics and
  • 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.77 in for the 4TB Canvio Basics drive

The 2019 refresh saw a small reduction in the depth of the largest Basics drive. Even though the capacity went from 3TB to 4TB.

And you won’t find the basics drive heavy.

  • At 5.3 ounces for the 1TB and 2TB drive and
  • 7.7 ounces for the 4TB external hard drive.

They won’t add much weight to your purse or backpack.

The 2019 refresh resulted in the 4TB drive becoming lighter compared to the previous 3TB. Yet you’ve more storage capacity. Fantastic.

7. Check out the User Opinions on the Canvio Basics

It’s so easy for you to take a look at the thoughts of the Canvio Basics buyers on Amazon.

The majority are happy with their Toshiba Basics external drive.

There are some disappointed Mac users. But their views seem to stem from a basic misunderstanding that;

Both situations are easily fixed with the documents I’ve referred you to on the site.

To format your Toshiba Basics you look here.  

To make your Toshiba shareable between a Mac and PC. Look at my article: ‘External Hard Drive for Mac and PC with Data Interchangeable’ – link to interchange doc.

You can Click through and look at the Amazon Reviews on the Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB yourself.

By using the button below. (Commissions Earned)

Scroll down to the bottom of the Amazon sales page to view the latest Amazon reviews.

8. Toshiba Canvio Basics Ramp Loading Technology and Shock Protection on Your Mac

So what is this feature?

Should your Canvio Basics feel a vibration while it’s working. It will do its best to dampen all vibrations down.

Should your Toshiba Canvio Basics get a knock it will do the same.

You won’t see this feature on many basic drives. Shock protection is usually a premium drive feature.

Even with these features you should aim to use your Canvio Basics on a firm level surface.

As we’re not talking about full drop protection here.

And it’s not the same thing that’s offered by premium ruggedized drives. So it is always best to invest in a case to protect your drive in storage or transit. I like the Lacdo Waterproof Shockproof External Hard Drive Case. (Commissions Earned)

9. Your Canvio Basics Warranty

You get one years warranty on the Basics external hard drive.

Which is a bit low.

I would have liked to see 2 year’s warranty offered.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Mac Review Last Words

I hope you enjoyed my article Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review.

Toshiba has a good reputation for reliable products. And should you invest in this drive it should do a good job for you for a few years to come.

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