Yesterday, we suggested Western Digital could introduce its 3TB drive in a week or two. But it's gone and announced it today.
There are three USB 3.0 products: the My Passport Essential portable hard drive, the SE version of that product, and the My Book Essential external hard drive. The My Book Essential has 1, 1.5 and 2TB capacities as well as the 3TB level announced today, and comes with SmartWare software for automatic and continuous backup. With a USB 3.0 port transfer speeds of up to 5Gbit/s are realisable, according to WD. This means a 120-minute (two hour) video could transfer in three minutes, 10 minutes faster than on a USB 2.0 port.
This 3TB drive is based on a 4-platter - yes 4-platter - Caviar Green product, so it has 750GB per platter. We don't know the actual areal density, but it would seem to be 50 per cent greater than that of a 500GB/platter drive. So WD has played leap-frog with Seagate, which needed five platters to reach the 3TB level. That leaves Seagate with some ground to make up.
The pocket-sized My Passport Essential holds up to 500GB and gets USB 3.0 added to it, with power coming through the USB cable. The My Passport Essential SE holds either 750GB or 1TB and also gets USB 3.0.
The drives are available through WD's channel. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for My Passport Essential 500GB is €99 (£86). MSRP for My Passport Essential SE ranges from €149.99 to €199.99 (£130 to £174). MSRP for My Book Essential ranges from €139.99 to €299.99 (£122-£260). ®