Western Digital My Book Studio external hard drive (2TB)

A Mac-friendly external hard drive with 2TB of storage

Western Digital My Book Studio
  • Western Digital My Book Studio
  • Western Digital My Book Studio
  • Western Digital My Book Studio
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Attractive design, customisable e-label display, useful software

Cons

  • USB 2.0 transfer speeds could be a bit faster

Bottom Line

The Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB) is an excellent external hard drive for people who need lots of storage. It features useful software, an attractive design and whisper-quiet operation.

Would you buy this?

Western Digital's My Book Studio is a 2TB external hard drive supporting FireWire 800 and USB 2.0. It is designed primarily for Mac users, although it can be used on Windows platforms after a reformat.

The My Book Studio has a similar design to previous My Book hard drives such as the Essential and Home editions. The only significant changes are a smart display screen, a Mac-inspired paintjob and a smaller, less irritating activity light.

Like other models in the My Book range, the drive is aesthetically pleasing, sporting the 'brushed metal' look that you often find on Mac products.

Unlike the MyBook Studio Edition II which came with two mirrored 3.5in hard drives in an unfashionably obese enclosure, this model comes with a single drive (a WD Caviar Green).

The My Book Studio is relatively light (1.18kg) considering the amount of storage space crammed inside it. The 2TB drive (1.98GB readable on Mac OS) is quoted by Western Digital as having the capacity to store 400,000 digital photos, 500,000 songs or 240 hours of 720p/1080i high-definition video. At 15 cents per formatted gigabyte, the WD My Book Studio 2TB is a decent buy.

Features

Western Digital has taken the liberty of bundling WD SmartWare backup software with the drive, which is the company's answer to Apple Time Capsule. WD SmartWare is packed with plenty of advanced options, yet it remains easy to use thanks to the intuitive interface.

We were also pleased by the other features the device offered, including a sleep timer and 256-bit hardware-based encryption.

The WD My Book Studio 2TB allows you to personalise the display screen with your own labelling. This is sure to come in handy for users who own multiple My Book enclosures. The display screen also shows a storage capacity gauge, which is very convenient.

Performance

To assess the My Book Studio's transfer speeds, we used a 27in iMac running Snow Leopard 10.6. Our test files include a 3GB batch of 1MB files, as well as a folder of larger 3-4GB files totalling 19.4GB.

During our storage benchmarking tests, the enclosed WD Caviar Green performed well using FireWire 800 as a connection. However, we were a little disappointed with its USB 2.0 transfer speeds — probably due to our recent acquaintance with the USB 3.0 My Book Studio Edition.

When running our 3GB 'small file' benchmark with FireWire 800, the drive finished up at an impressive 49 seconds with a steady read speed of 61 megabytes per second. During our 19.4GB 'large file' benchmark, it had the job done at 4 minutes and 25 seconds, with an average read of 75MBps.

USB 2.0 however, had us hanging around for a tedious 14 minutes during the 'large file' bench and took 4 minutes to move 3GB.

In all tests, the drive maintained an average power consumption of 8.9 Watts, slightly higher than its idle consumption of 6.1W. We were pleased at the fact that the drive remained silent during file transfers.

Considering the My Book Studio just emerged on the market, it has a reasonable price -- and you definitely get what you pay for.

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