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A lookworthy 500GB, bus-powered external laptop hard drive

A new external 500GB hard drive from OWC.

Not long ago, laptop hard drives hit 500GB, which was, in my opinion, not a big deal. Nonstop leaps in hard-drive storage capacity over recent years have made me, and most of us for that matter, sort of desensitized, if not snobbish. Something of highest-number gigabytes has just come out and yet it already feels like "been there, done that. So what? There's going to be something bigger, soon!"

The Mercury On-The-Go works with both PCs and Macs. OWC

However, I'm intrigued by the Mercury On-The-Go portable hard drive that OWC announced Tuesday. This is not because it uses the all-new 500GB laptop hard drive, but rather because of its flexibility, portability, compatibility, and a nice design. The combination of things makes this drive cool.

The Mercury supports USB 2.0, Firewire 400, and Firewire 800 and, most importantly, it is fully Firewire bus-powered. This means no extra power adapter to carry along if you use it with a Firewire port.

If you use a USB port, there are instances that you might need the included separate power adapter. The drive is about the size of the hard drive itself and weighs about the same. Although OWC is a vendor that focuses primarily on Macs, the Mercury On-The-Go works with PCs too. It comes with a full retail version of Prosoft DataBackup III for OS X and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows. It works with Mac OS X Leopard's Time Machine too.

Generally, this looks like a great drive for travelers, especially if you are a Mac user. You can purchase it right now for $360 at OWC.