Yesterday I reviewed the Seagate 3TB external drive and it so happens that today Western Digital has announced their very own 3TB drive as well. Wonder if I could get one for review to compare the two? The Seagate offered USB 2.0 interface, but the WD drive offers both USB 2 and USB 3 and it’s about the same price. I’ve never had the chance to review any Western Digital products though so I can’t make a call about their brand of external drives, I like Seagate though so I’ll stick with them.

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The drives not only take advantage of the latest blazing-fast USB 3.0 technology, but are also fully compatible with USB 2.0 connections for those who have yet to upgrade their computers to USB 3.0. When connected to a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, consumers can transfer data at speeds up to 150 MB/s. At that rate, a two-hour HD video will transfer in as little as three minutes. The same two-hour video would take approximately 13 minutes to transfer on a USB 2.0 port(2).

My Passport Essential, still WD’s smallest portable drive, is available in a 500 GB capacity and comes in five fun colors – Midnight Black, Cool Silver, Real Red, Pacific Blue and Arctic White (Arctic White only available in EMEA and APAC). My Passport Essential SE portable hard drives are available in 750 GB and 1 TB capacities and come in stylish black, silver, metallic blue and metallic red colors. The pocket-sized My Passport portable hard drives are powered directly through the USB cable; no separate power supply is needed(3).

My Book Essential, the world’s number-one selling hard drive, also impresses with its small footprint, sleek design and high-capacity storage ranging from 1 TB up to a massive 3 TB(4). The drive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, and uses WD SmartWare visual backup software.

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"With more and more devices like the iPod touch®, iPhone®4 and other smartphones adding video-capable cameras, digital video is becoming ubiquitous. Most homes already have thousands of photos and music files, increasing the need for storage around the house. Having the extra capacity to store these files and move them around quickly is becoming a big issue for many consumers around the world," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD’s branded products group. "WD’s newest line of My Book and My Passport external hard drives features the latest USB 3.0 connection technology, which more than triples the speed to transfer media files, but still works with today’s USB 2.0 ports. In addition, consumers can take advantage of the highest capacity available on external hard drives with the new 3 TB My Book Essential drive."

Features:

My Book Essential external hard drives, My Passport Essential and My Passport Essential SE portable hard drives feature:     

  • Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interfaces;
  • Up to 3x faster transfer rates when compared to USB 2.0;
  • WD SmartWare software for automatic, continuous backup;
  • Password protection for privacy; and,
  • Planet-friendly packaging from recycled materials which can, in turn, also be recycled.

Capacity and Compatibility :

The My Passport Essential portable hard drive is available in 500 GB capacity. The My Passport Essential SE portable hard drive is available in 750 GB and 1 TB capacities. The My Book Essential external hard drive is available in 1 TB, 1.5 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB capacities. The drives are formatted NTFS for Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. These drives require reformatting for Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard.

Price and Availability

My Passport Essential portable hard drives and My Book Essential external hard drives offer a 2-year limited warranty in the U.S. and are now available at select U.S. retailers and online at wdstore.com.

MSRP for the My Passport Essential portable drive is $99.99 USD. MSRP for My Passport Essential SE drives ranges from $129.99 USD to $169.99 USD. MSRP for My Book Essential drives ranges from $129.99 USD to $249.99 USD.