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Western Digital refreshes external hard drives with USB 3.0

Western Digital announces the new versions of its My Passport and My Book external hard drives that offer USB 3.0 and top capacities.

Seagate recently launched its USB 3.0-based line of external hard drives including the FreeAgent GoFlex Ultraportable (1.5TB for laptops) and the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk (3TB for desktops). Western Digital followed suit today with its own line of USB 3.0 external hard drives that offer up to 3TB of storage.

The new My Passport Essential portable hard drive from Seagate.
The new My Passport Essential portable hard drive from Seagate. Seagate

The company announced new versions of its three popular lines of storage devices, including the My Passport Essential, My Passport Essential SE, and My Book Essential. All three are external hard drives. The first two are compact and portable drives (suitable to accompany laptop computers) and the last one is larger and better for desktop computers.

All three drives offer USB 3.0 connectivity. The My Book Essential also offers the highest industry capacity of a single volume drive--up to 3TB of storage--in addition to its 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB versions.

The My Passport Essential, on the other hand, is available in one 500GB capacity but in five colors--black, silver, red, blue, and white.

The last drive, the My Passport Essential SE, is available in 750GB and 1TB capacities and comes in black, silver, blue, or red. These two pocket-size My Passport portable  drives are bus-powered and use only one USB cable for both data and power connections.

All three new drives share the same set of features, including dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface, WD SmartWare software for automatic backup, and support for password protection. They also share the same two-year warranty.

Other than that, the new drives look similar to their predecessors. They are available now with prices ranging from $100 to $250 depending on the type and capacity.