Hard disk drives still rule the roost when dealing with bus-powered portable storage devices that are economical on a $/Gb basis, particularly at higher capacity points. Seagate and Western Digital offer capacities ranging from 1TB to 5TB in their Portable / Backup Plus and My Passport HDD lineups. Toshiba's bus-powered Canvio lineup includes the Canvio Slim (1TB and 2TB), Canvio Advance, Canvio Basics, and Canvio Ready (1TB-4TB) models. Today, Toshiba is adding new models focused on the gaming market (add-on storage for consoles) while expanding cross-platform compatibility. The Advance and Ready models are also getting a redesigned exterior.

The two new models - Canvio Flex and Canvio Gaming - target different market segments. Both feature storage capacities of up to 4TB, and utilize shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology. They come with a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Micro-B interface. The Flex comes with both USB-C and USB-A cables for wider compatibility with a range of computing platforms. The Gaming model features customized firmware (with an 'Always-On' feature, which we assume disables the parking of the heads when idle as long as power is available).

Toshiba expects the new Canvio Flex and Gaming models to become available in Fall 2020. Pricing was not available at launch time - the 4TB Basics / Advance currently have a street price around $90-$100, and we expect the Flex and Gaming to land around that. In terms of competition, both Seagate and Western Digital have had their 4TB (and even 5TB) bus-powered SMR models in the market for a few years, though the performance profile is widely different. We would have liked Toshiba to introduce a 5TB model to go against the entire stack from their competitors. That said, the new models do enable the company to tweak the firmware and accessories to serve specific market segments in a better manner.

Source: Toshiba

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  • Vitor - Monday, August 31, 2020 - link

    Micro usb 3 must die, awful connector. Reply
  • Valantar - Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - link

    YES. Couldn't agree more. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, August 31, 2020 - link

    Even though consoles are typically write once, read many times... You still couldn't pay me to go SMR unless it was absolutely necessary. (I.E. 10+ terabytes.)

    Plus some consoles (I.E. WiiU) can be very fickle about bus powered drives, but I guess the reduced power plug/cable clutter is beneficial.
    Reply
  • nandnandnand - Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - link

    "Gaming HDD with shingles" Reply
  • azfacea - Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - link

    rebranded repainted product aimed at a non existent market. at a time game assets are growing exponentially in size and at least the consoles will generate massive pressure for high bandwidth reading from disk who is going to want these?? ps5 and xbox x probably wont even allow this to be used for latest games even if the game doesnt need that much bandwidth.

    now as if this whole thing isnt bad enof, add SMR to the picture.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - link

    Conventional USB storage can still be used for "archiving" games, i.e. you won't be able to play them off of the drive, but you can put them away temporarily without needing to re-download them the next time you want to play. So there's still a use, even if it's more marginal/more labor intensive. Reply
  • azfacea - Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - link

    lol archiving games ?? what planet are you on ?? next you are going to sell us a special USB drive with jQuery on it, and a chrome plugin to eliminate "needing to re-download them the next time" a page references it. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - link

    <sarcasm> Oh wow, where do I sign up for the blistering performance of SMR behind the outstanding durability of a Micro-B connector?! Because gaming is in the name, it MUST be fast after all! </sarcasm> Reply

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