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WD My Passport portable drive gets a face-lift

Western Digital introduces a new My Passport Studio Portable Drive that incorporates an e-label and offer capacities up to 640GB.

Mac users in need of a portable external hard drive now have another option from Western Digital. And it seems really cool.

The new external hard drive's e-label is available even when the drive is plugged. Western Digital

The company introduced on Monday a complete new version of the My Passport Studio Portable Drive, which CNET reviewed a while ago. The new drive bears the same name but comes with larger capacities and a different design that has a customizable e-label display that shows the status of the drive.

WD says that thanks to the e-paper technology, the information on the e-label display remains clearly visible, even when the drive is unplugged. People can use the included WD SmartWare software to customize what they want the e-label to display, such as a note about the content of the hard drive or to indicate the owner of the drive. Apart from that, the label can also show available capacity and whether the drive is locked.

Other than this novelty, the new portable external hard drive sports both a USB 2.0 port and a FireWire 800 port to connect to a computer. Both of these ports are bus-powered, meaning you won't need to carry an extra power cable for the drive. The drive is available in 320GB, 500GB, and 640GB. Unfortunately, it doesn't support the new, and much faster, USB 3.0 standard.

According to WD, the new My Passport Studio drive is designed for creative professionals and Mac enthusiasts. The drive supports 256-bit hardware-based encryption and password protection for data protection in case of loss or theft. It's preformatted using HFS+ Journaled file system and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and later.

The new drive comes with a three-year warranty. It's variable now and costs from $150 to $200, depending on the capacities.