Western Digital has a good thing going with their "My [insert name here]" line of external storage solutions, and that train keeps rolling today with an all-new My Passport Studio drive. Design wise, it doesn't look all that different than prior versions at first glance, but there's one particular change across that front that could very well revolutionize the seemingly stagnant external HDD sector.
As with prior versions, Western Digital's newest My Passport Studio comes pre-formatted for use with Macs, but a simple reformat out of the box enables it to work fine with Windows or Linux machines. The FireWire 800 interface may cause problems for those who rely solely on USB 3.0, but given that this is fully compatible with Apple's Time Machine software, it's clear that WD is aiming this at Apple loyalists. The drive also ships with WD's SmartWare software (for automated and continuous backups), and the 256-bit hardware-based encryption should keep your files locked down tight.
The most unique aspect of this new device is actually not on the inside. Instead, it's front-and-center on the outside. Featuring a new "e-label smart display," this drive can actually say what's inside of it (users can tweak through the SmartWare software) regardless of whether it's powered on or off. The magic resides within the e-paper technology, which can actually "hold" an image (or in this case, a few letters) just like traditional paper. Think of it like an incredibly tiny Kindle display. WD is shipping these directly from their website starting today in 320GB, 500GB and 640GB capacities, with prices ranging from $150 to $200.
My Passport Studio
The new WD My Passport Studio ultra-portable drives feature:
display – a customizable e-label that reminds users of what is stored
on the drive and provides available capacity and security status at a
glance even when the drive is unplugged;
- FireWire 800 – users can save and access data at top speeds with the high-performance FireWire 800 interface;
- Plug-and-play, designed for use with Mac computers and compatibility with Apple TimeMachine software;
- WD SmartWare software that visually presents consumers' data in a software control center;
hardware-based encryption and password protection for peace of mind
knowing that data is protected from unauthorized access;
- USB 2.0 interface – for convenience and compatibility among multiple computers;
- Planet-friendly packaging derived from recycled materials to minimize waste;
- HFS+ Journaled formatting and are compatible with Mac OS X Tiger®, Leopard® and Snow Leopard®; and,
- 3-year limited warranty.