Western Digital announced late yesterday the first single-volume portable external hard drive on the market that offers 2TB of storage, 500GB more than the second-highest-capacity portable drive of its type, the GoFlex Ultraportable of Seagate.
The new drive belongs to the My Passport family which, prior to this, offered up to 1TB of storage space. Despite the doubling of the capacity, the new 2.5-inch drive remains compact, bus-powered, and portable. WD says it supports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and is preformatted using NTFS but can be easily reformatted for Mac OS.
According to Western Digital, the new My Passport comes in a casing with premium finishes, engineered to make the outer shell more resistant to scratches and fingerprints. It comes with WD SmartWare automatic backup software and WD Security for password-protection and hardware encryption.
It's predicted that 2TB is about the maximum capacity of 2.5-inch internal hard drives that use the current perpendicular magnetic recording technology. In order to further increase the storage space -- a technique that involves shrinking the platter's data bits and tightening the data tracks--a new recording method, such as one recently announced by Seagate, is necessary.
The new WD My Passport portable drive comes with a two-year warranty and is available now in 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB capacities that carry the suggested prices of $130, $150, $180, $200, and $250, respectively.