Data portability is no longer something that is meant just for those who want to secure their important data while toting it around for meetings. These days it’s all about average users storing movies, music and media in all forms. A portable hard drive is a mode of convenience for transfer and secure storage of large amounts of data. ‘Secure’ is of course the key word in that statement. One more important factor one needs to acknowledge before running off and buying the first high capacity external hard drive is transfer speed and the drive's versatility to offer its users various options of connectivity.
Here’s our review of Western Digital’s 320GB My Passport Studio Portable Hard Drive .
Weighing in at about 180g with dimensions of 18 x 126.76 x 81mm (H x L x W), WD’s 320GB external hard drive’s design is not unlike any other. What does make it stand out are the FireWire and standard mini USB connectivity ports that are very neatly concealed by a slider on one side of the drive. The glossy black rim and silver shell are also quite eye-catching. Cables (Firewire and USB) are provided for PC connections so you’re good to go as soon as it’s out of the box.
A set of white LED capacity indicators are located right next to the ports and are quite handy to give you a quick view as to how much of the drive’s space is utilized. Think of it as something similar to a mobile phone’s battery meter. Although the company states that the device’s shell is shock-resistant, I wouldn’t be throwing it around if I were you. It’s designed to keep the drive safe from regular bumping and jarring while carrying it around and I haven’t had any issues after carrying it around in Mumbai trains.
The drive is formatted for the Mac (HFS) but can very easily be reformatted for Windows (NTFS) with no issues. It can also be used with Apple’s Time Machine software for data backup or any other software of the same nature. The Passport Studio comes with Western Digital's 5 year limited warranty. What enhances its worth is the fact that this is the newer version that offers Firewire 400 and 800 that boosts read/write speeds a little more.
Speaking of connectivity, the drive supports USB 2.0 and FireWire 400. These are the test results of the tests that we ran on the drive to test performance.
You can see for yourself that the read/write rates are quite good. In fact, they're better than just good. Since our tests were primarily conducted via Firewire 400, you can expect a lot more if you’re loaded with the obviously faster Firewire 800 that the drive supports. Still, it manages to outpace some of the pretty strong competitors out there.
The Bottom Line
Even at a whopping Rs. 11,000, this 320GB drive is something worth considering if you’re a media professional like a photographer or designer who would use it primarily for transferring and transporting raw images and files. The price per GB may seem a little ‘out there’ but considering the performance and the kind of niche product features it offers to professionals who’ll truly get the best usage, this one is worth the price.
If you're looking for just a run-of-the-mill portable hard drive a normal 320GB Western Digital HDD is available for approximately Rs. 5, 000.
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