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

By Paul Gregory / August 18, 2018
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review

​MacTakeAwayData Rank

The Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB drive is not just for Windows PC users but for Mac users as well. February 2018 saw a refresh of the Toshiba line up of portable hard drives which included the Canvio Basics.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Pros

  • ​Easy to set up and use on your Mac, Macbook, Pro or Air
  • ​The price. It is well priced for 1TB of external hard drive storage
  • ​Range of hard drive capacities available 1TB, 2TB and 3TB
  • check
    ​Shock protection and Ramp loading technology to protect your data
  • check
    ​2-year limited warranty


  • ​​The USB 2.0 backwards compatibility mode is not recommended for the oldest Macs
  • ​​Preformatted in NTFS means the ability to read and write files on Windows. NTFS can be read by Mac computers but not written to without formatting
  • Times Circle
    ​No direct Thunderbolt connectivity and an adaptor is needed to use the Canvio Basics on the latest Macs


The Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB portable hard drive is amongst the best selling drives in the marketplace.

And for good reason; you buy this external hard drive,

When you don't want or can't afford frills that drive the price of the hard drive up,

When you're not worried about jazzy colors for your hard drive,

And when you just want reliable storage at a good price.

​Toshiba Canvio Basics
Canvio Basics Front

​Toshiba Canvio Basics

​Look at protecting your Toshiba Canvio Basics external hard drive with a protective carry case when in transit or storage.  

I like the AmazonBasics External Hard Drive Case.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review Features Run Down

​Most think this external hard drive is only for a Windows PC but I aim to review this drive for the Mac owner out there looking for external storage at an affordable price.

1. Toshiba Basics 1TB Connecting to a Mac

​This Toshiba external hard drive is powered from your Mac's 3.0 USB port via the USB cable.  Don't worry the cable is a standard USB cable. Type A USB connection at the end that plug into your Mac and type Micro B USB at the end that plugs into the Basics drive.

Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Port

Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Port

There is no power cable, which makes things simple when you are porting this drive around. As long as the Mac has power or sufficient battery it will drive this external hard drive.

The USB 3.0 standard does allow for backwards compatibility with USB 2.0.

However Apple Macs conform strictly to the USB 2.0 port standards on power draw and there have been quite a few reports of this hard drive not being able to be powered by older Macs with USB 2.0 only ports.

You may be able to get around this by connecting the external hard drive via a USB hub that is separately powered (has its own power supply) with USB 3.0 ports.

It doesn't make the set up quite so convenient for those owners of older Macs and you may be better looking elsewhere for an external hard drive.

2. What About Macs with Thunderbolt Ports?

​Due to backwards compatibility although the ports are physically different as long as you have or purchase a Thunderbolt or USB C to USB Micro B adaptor you can plug right in.  

And have a really cost effective solution compared to the cost of Thunderbolt native external hard drives.

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Toshiba Canvio Basics

3. What about the NTFS Pre-formatting

​The Toshiba Canvio Basics is pre formatted as NTFS. Macs can read files on NTFS drives but not write to NTFS. So to use on a Mac the default formatting has to be changed.

And it is easily done using a standard Mac software utility called Disk Utility.

Plug the drive in - your Mac will recognize it been plugged in.

Start up Disk Utility and;

a) either format the drive as Mac OS Extended (journaled) file system.

This is the default file system Macs use and it means that the external hard drive can be used as a destination for Time Machine backups.

b) create partitions for the different things you want to do and store.

For example, a partition or area for your files and an area for Time Machine backups. Take full advantage of having extra capacity available to you - particularly if you go for the larger 2TB or 3TB versions of the Canvio Basics hard drive.

c) should you want to share the drive between a Windows PC and a Mac, format or create a partition as ExFAT. The beauty of ExFAT is that both a Mac and a Windows PC can read and write to an ExFAT formatted drive or partition.

If you are worried that you don't know how to do this, I have an article on the site that tells you how. Take a look.

Alternatively if you are interested in learning how to create the Canvio Basics as an ExFAT drive and share between a Mac and Windows PC take a look at my article 'External Hard Drive for Mac and PC with Data Interchangeable'.

4. Toshiba Canvio Basics YouTube Video

​It's always interesting to see what is in the box before you buy. So why not take a look at this YouTube unboxing video.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive

Video Credit: SuperFjordmannen

5. Canvio Basic Design, Capacity, Size and Weight

​As a basic hard drive the Canvio Basic is only available matt black.

Due to the February 2018 refresh which saw it's bigger brother the Canvio Connect II​.

replaced with the ​Canvio Advance.

It is worth noting that the smallest capacity is now 1TB. Described on Amazon as the 'Contemporary' version the new model numbers are;

  • HDTB410XK3AA for 1TB
  • HDTB420XK3AA for 2TB
  • HDTB330XK3CB for 3TB

The older versions are still available to buy and are now known as the 'Classic' version. Model number HDTB310XK3CA.

You can view the Toshiba press release with this link here.​

The Canvio Basic is a simple no frills external hard drive designed to be portable and fit in your hand.

You can check out how it compares to the Toshiba Canvio Connect II in my versus post.

It is a convenient size at;

  • 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.55 in for the 1TB and 2TB external hard drive and
  • 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.83 in for the 3TB drive

Certainly sufficient storage capacity for your photos, videos and music.

It is good weight too at;

  • 5.3 ounces for the 1TB and 2TB drive and
  • 8.11 ounces for the 3TB external hard drive.

Apart from that there is a LED that tells you when the drive is powered and working.

6. Considering the Canvio Connect II?

​I have an article that is a head to head comparison between the Canvio Basics and the Canvio Connect II. ​

7. User Opinions

​It is easy to take a look at the thoughts of purchasers of the Canvio Basics on Amazon. The majority who have purchased this drive are pleased with the drive. There are some disappointed Mac users but that seems to stem from a misunderstanding that;

a. this drive is NTFS formatted so can be plugged in but not written to by a Mac straight off the bat without formatting and

b. a lack of knowledge on how to reformat the drive.

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

To format the Toshiba Basics look at my document: 'Connect an External Hard Drive to Mac, 12 things to Know'.

To make the Toshiba shareable look at my document: 'External Hard Drive for Mac and PC with Data Interchangeable'.

Click through and look at the Amazon Reviews on the Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB using the button below. Scroll down to the bottom of the Amazon sales page to view the Amazon reviews.

8. Ramp Loading Technology and Shock Protection

​A really nice feature for a basic drive is Toshiba's proprietary internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology.

Should the Canvio Basics hard drive feel a vibration it will do its best to dampen them down. Should your Canvio 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 always use your Canvio Basics on a level surface.

You won't get full drop protection as offered by the more premium ruggedized drives so it is always best to invest in a case to protect your drive in storage or transit.

​My preferred one is the: the AmazonBasics External Hard Drive Case

​9. Canvio Basics Warranty

​Two years warranty is offered on the Basics external hard drive, which is solid and shows Toshiba's confidence in the longevity of this drive.

Last Words

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

I really like this budget, basic drive from Toshiba.

They have 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.

Now you are here you may also like to take a look at its bigger brother the Canvio Advance.

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