My Book Pro

My Book Pro

Yes, that's Morse code - but a decoder card is not included.


Western Digital's My Book Pro is an external hard drive - and nope, that's not a misprint. The company, known for its internal hard drive mechanisms, also makes drives in external enclosures. And it's put a lot of thought into the My Book Pro's friendly, booklike case design, instead of simply slapping together your generic, plain-Jane case.


Measuring 6.78 by 5.63 by 2.23 inches, the My Book Pro's silver plastic case has a pair of helpful LED rings gracing its face. The smaller, inner LED acts as a capacity indicator to give you a rough idea of how much space you have left. For example, if the ring is a quarter lit, the drive's a quarter full. When the drive is reading or writing, the outer LEDs appear to rotate clockwise to tell you the drive is active. Pushing the button in the middle of the LED rings powers the quiet, fanless drive on or off.


The drive has a USB 2.0 port, two FireWire 800 ports, and a FireWire 400 port. Using Xbench (free, to gauge the speed of the drive on a Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5, we found that the My Book Pro posted a speed of 32MB per second during the Sequential Uncached Write test when using FireWire 400 or 800. For comparison, the internal 160GB SATA drive in the Power Mac was rated at 37MB per second on the same test. On the Sequential Uncached Read test, the My Book Pro (using either FireWire 400 or 800) and the internal drive both were rated at 36MB per second. Using USB, the My Book Pro was rated at 10MB per second in both tests.


The My Book Pro comes with Retrospect Express 6.1 backup software. Its interface isn't elegant, but once you figure it out, Retrospect Express is a capable backup app.


The bottom line. Where else can you find a case that uses a marketing message in Morse code for its cooling vents? The My Book Pro is a great external hard drive.


COMPANY: Western Digital
CONTACT: 949-672-7000,
PRICE: $349.99 (500GB, tested), $219.99 (250GB)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2.8 or later; FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or USB port
At-a-glance capacity indicator. Triple interface.
Bundled Retrospect software lacks interface elegance.





+ Add a Comment


A driver is required on Windows XP or OSX for the drive space indicator LED to function correctly.

If you don't install the driver, the LED still lights up to indicate power, it just won't show how much space is left on the drive. No big deal really...still a great drive.

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