Western Digital has recently unveiled a range of external storage drives aimed at various segments from plain backup to dedicated media drives. The drive we are talking about here today is the Western Digital “Media center” WDXB3200JB 320 GB USB/FireWire External Hard Drive with Dual Option Backup. The drive is built within a sturdy body which has a good shape and offers shock protection. Furthermore the body is equipped with rubber feet which keep it upright and stable.
Connectivity of this device is offered through the usual USB 2.0 slot and Firewire. Since the drive ships with both the Firewire and USB cable, installation is a breeze. The drive shows up as a mass storage device under Windows and is immediately available for use .The drive is power hungry and can only be powered through the included AC adaptor. Since this drive is aimed at the media-center crowd, the drive has an 8-in-I inbuilt memory card reader that supports various kind of media formats. This is really a bonus add-on since it removes the need for you to invest in an external memory card reader.
The front of the drive is equipped with 3 buttons. Two of these buttons serve as one touch backup solutions in conjunction with the Dantz Retrospect software that ships with the drive. The third button is a power off button which allows you to safely shut down the drive when it is not in use. One unique feature that is present in this drive is a USB Hub. When the drive is connected via the USB cable, the USB Hub becomes available. One can connect a variety of USB devices to this hub. This is a great feature for those with older PCs. This way the drive simply increases the connectivity options available. Performance wise the drive is really good. We tested it while it was connected via USB. Since the physical hard drive itself is a 7200 RPM Drive with 8 MB cache, it is speedy and achieves great results in our performance benchmarks. We tested the drive with Sisoft Sandra 2007, Everest and HDTACH 3.10. With consistent averages of 28 MB read speeds and writes speeds of 30.8 MB, the drive is one of the fastest external devices we have come across till date.
The software package that ships with the drive is quite good. The Dantz Retrospect software is a comprehensive backup solution that supports both full and incremental backup. Not only that it works in conjunction with the drive's dedicated buttons and allows the user to backup their data with just the touch of a button. The buttons can be customized for various backup settings.
All in all with its dual connectivity options, its handy one touch backup solution and the great card reader, this drive shipping at Rs 14,000 comes highly recommended.
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