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Western Digital Does External 2 TB HDD

Western Digital announced yesterday that its My Book line of external drives will be fitted with 2 TB of storage, the largest single-drive capacity so far.

If there's one thing most multimedia consumers have figured out, it's that the hard drive can fill up mighty quick. The iPhone and iPod Touch are classic examples, featuring access to the Apps Store and iTunes right on the main menu. It's extremely easy to purchase and download tons of content--applications, books, and music of course--which can easily eat up credit cards like candy wafers. Jump on the PC and download movies through iTunes, and suddenly that huge hard drive mounted within just isn't enough to store all of that multimedia goodness. With that said, this consumer went out and picked up a 1 TB Western Digital My Book for $120 over the weekend. Now said consumer wants to kick himself in the butt for not waiting just a tad bit longer.

Yesterday Western Digital said that its My Book series of external hard drives will now feature 2 TB of storage, making it the largest available capacity in a single-drive system. The company will offer four 2 TB models: My Book Studio Edition, My Book Mac Edition, My Book Home Edition, and My Book Essential Edition. These drives won't come cheap however, ranging from $329.99 USD to $379.99 USD, depending on the model. That's quite a chunk of change, and consumers may actually want to wait a while until a larger drive hits the market, thus reducing the 2 TB price tag.

According to WD, all four models feature the same characteristics: they save power by going into standby mode after ten minutes of inactivity. A capacity gauge allows consumers to see exactly how much capacity is available on the drive (Essential Edition excluded, sorry), and the Kensington Security Slot allows users to secure the drive to the desk using a Kensington lock kit (sold separately). The drives also sport SmartPower and Safe Shutdown features, the former allowing the drive to power on and off with the PC while the latter prevents the drive from shutting off until the last bit of data has been written.

As for the separate models, the Studio Edition and the Mac Edition are formatted for Mac computers, however the Studio Edition is equipped with high speed FireWire 400/800, eSATA, and USB 2.0 interfaces. On the other hand, the Mac Edition only offers the USB 2.0 interface, and comes with a 1-year warranty as opposed to the Studio Edition's 5-year warranty. Additionally, the Home Edition and the Essential Edition are formatted for the PC, with the former offering high-speed eSATA, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 interfaces; the Essential Edition only offers the USB 2.0 interface. As for the warranties, the Home Edition carries a 3-year limited warranty whereas WD offered no warranty information for the Essential Edition.

"The popularity among consumers of high-definition video cameras, digital photography and digital music downloads means that users are filling up their computers with massive amounts of digital content as fast as they can click 'save.' As the volume and value of users digital content grows, backing up data on multiple CDs or DVDs becomes time consuming and inconvenient. At the same time, consumers are realizing the monetary and emotional value of content and need to back up their most important files. The My Book family, with its massive 2 TB capacity allows users to backup all their data in one easy step and keep it in one easily accessible place," said Jim Welsh, senior vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups.

Indeed, the term "bigger is better" certainly rings true with hard drives, especially when HD movies, TV shows, and mounds of digital music begin to whittle away at the current resident hard drive. As WD stated, HD video by itself requires massive amounts of drive space: at least 8 GB per hour of video. And according to Apple, the Apple store has already sold more than 250 million TV episodes and sold or rented more than 33 million movies as of March 2009. All that data needs to go somewhere, and as many consumers have figured out, burning disks sometimes just doesn't cut it.

Consumers looking to expand the PC or Mac's storage space without having to rip apart the casing may want to look into WD's My Book series. Granted the drives need an external power supply to keep all that space flowing (included), the current tastes of consumers demand this kind of storage, whether it's to backup the entire PC or Mac, or throw all those multimedia files on the external drives separately. However the 2 TB versions come with a hefty price tag, so consumers may need to weigh price against current necessity first.

WD My Book Mirror Edition External 2TB Hard Drive WD My Book Premium Edition II External 2TB Hard Drive WD My Book Home Edition External 1TB Hard Drive