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WD adds FireWire 800 to Mac external hard drive

The new My Passport Studio from Western Digital gets larger in size, and the addition of FireWire 800.

Western Digital

Back in June, I reviewed Western Digital's My Passport Studio and complained that it doesn't offer a FireWire 800 connection. Other than that, the drive was one of the best compact external hard drives on the market.

On Thursday, WD announced that it added this connection and capped the storage size in the latest revision of the drive to 500GB (from 320GB).

With this addition, the new My Passport Studio drive is now larger and has all three of the most popular interfaces for pocket-size external hard drives, including USB 2.0, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800. All of these connections are bus-powered, meaning you won't need to use a separate power cable.

Despite the addition of ports and the increase in storage size, the new drive still has the same passport-size compact form factor as the one released in June and weighs almost half a pound.

What's best about the the new My Passport Studio drive, however, is its support for high-speed turbo performance via a software driver for Macs, similar Turbo USB found in SimpleTech's (re)drive. In turbo mode, the drive potentially offers a throughput speed significantly faster than that of regular nonturbo FireWire connections.

The drive is preformatted for Macs and comes with a built-in, illuminated capacity gauge that tells users how much space is available in the drive. It is compatible with Apple's Time Machine application right out of the box.

The new My Passport Studio is available in 500GB and 400GB sizes that cost $250 and $230, respectively. Both come with WD's generous five-year warranty.

Related stories:

Review of Western Digital's My Passport Studio

Review of SimpleTech's (re)drive