I think by now most of us know and understand the benefits of portable storage and data backups. The PC may have come a long way in its evolution, but stable, reliable and dependable are still not words you'll hear used very often to describe the hardware or the software.
This time last year we were singing the praises of the USB Flash Drive, and while I'd still not be without mine things they are a-changin' and for not much more than the price of a good 1GB Flash drive you can now own 30 or more Gigabytes of full-on hardcore magnetic storage by way of a 1.8"or 2.5" hard disk.
There are an endless combination of hard drive and enclosure combinations on the market right now, most making use of the USB2.0 interface, and though it's simplicity itself to buy the drive and enclosure and create your own unit, you may prefer to opt for the convenience or the improved fit-and-finish of a pre-assembled device.
Today I want to look at just such a device from hard drive gurus Western Digital. With a history stretching back to 1970, WD have pioneered the development and manufacturing of hard drives and hard drive technology since about 1988. The Digital Passport range of external USB2.0 hard drives features a 40, 60 and 80 Gigabyte unit selling from their site at $149.99, $179.99 and $99.99 respectively, or for £60.61, £84.07 and £103.76 from We Have ThiNGs amongst others.
It's the 80Gigabyte version I have on test today so let's get to it. First the obligatory specs.
- Easy connection to PC or Macintosh laptops and computers.
- Fast 5400 RPM 2.5-inch drive performance.
- Compact and light.
- It's powered directly through the USB cable--requires no power adapter.*
- Easily share files between computers.
- Power-conserving design prolongs laptop battery life.
- Safety tested, one of the few external drives with certification to meet all applicable safety requirements.
- Formatted Capacity 80,026 MB
- Capacity 80 GB
- Interface USB 2.0
- Actuator Type Rotary Voice Coil
- Bytes Per Sector 512
- Servo Type Embedded
- Dedicated Landing Zone Yes
- Actuator Latch / Auto Park Yes
- Rotational Speed 5,400 RPM (nominal)
- Buffer Size 2 MB
- Average Latency 5.50 ms (nominal)
- Seek Times (Average)
- Read Seek Time (Average) 12.0 ms
- Track-To-Track Seek Time 2.0 ms (average)
- Serial Transfer Rate
- USB 2.0 - Serial Bus Transfer Rate (USB 2.0) 480 Mbits/s (Max)