I recently reviewed the OWC Mercury and SimpleTech's Signature Mini external hard drives. I liked the OWC Mercury for its versatility in connections and its top-of-the-market storage space. I also loved the Signature Mini because of its light weight and compact, chocolaty design. On Wednesday, Western Digital (WD) joined this race of external hard drives that are so small in physical size, yet so large in storage space, with its My Passport Studio series. I now am a little confused and don't know yet how to feel about this one.
Weighing only 5 ounces, the My Passport Studio series might be the lightest 2.5-inch-based external hard drives to date. The series comes in two sizes--250GB and 320GB--that cost $160 and $220, respectively. The best thing about these My Passport Studio drives is that they support both USB and FireWire (like the OWC) and are completely bus-powered. Also, they will ship with WD's generous five-year warranty.
The new drives boast a very elegant design with a sleek casing. They feature a clever capacity gauge that gives you visual of how much storage is available. They are preformatted to work with Mac, supporting Apple's Leopard's Time Machine backup software utility. Once reformatted, they will also work fine with PCs.
The new My Passport Studio drives are available now for purchase at WD's online store, but if you can wait, check back at CNET.com to read our in-depth review to find out how their performance stacks up against other contenders.