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Western Digital My Book Premium ES Edition (500GB) review: Western Digital My Book Premium ES Edition (500GB)

With only a one year warranty and no included eSATA cable, it's worth checking out the My Book Premium ES Edition's competition.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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The My Book Premium ES Edition is much like Western Digital's past My Book drives -- this one defined by offering USB2.0 and eSATA.

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6.5

Western Digital My Book Premium ES Edition (500GB)

The Good

eSATA connector. PC and Mac software.

The Bad

One year warranty. No eSATA cable included.

The Bottom Line

With only a one year warranty and no included eSATA cable, it's worth checking out the My Book Premium ES Edition's competition.

Design/Features
The usual My Book shape is here, along with the "Morse code" perforated air holes, and the blue circle activity light at the front. If you install Western Digital's Button Manager, the LED can also show how much capacity you've used of the hard drive -- it's not frightfully accurate though, only lighting up segments that roughly equate to 17 percent of capacity. The feature won't work with eSATA mode either -- although ultimately you're much better off simply using the drive properties in your OS to get a more accurate reading.

The box itself is fanless, the hard drive never getting hugely loud. Oddly, despite the eSATA connection no eSATA cable is included, leaving you to purchase your own. A USB2.0 cable and power brick make up the rest of the package.

EMC Restrospect Express is the included backup software, with both Mac and PC version available, servicing the oft overlooked Apple crowd.

Western Digital includes a one year warranty, which is to us scary for any hard drive product -- especially in the face of the five year warranty offered by its Studio Edition drives, Maxtor's One Touch 4/Plus or Seagate's FreeAgent Desktop/Pro.

Performance
The Premium ES Edition performed as expected over USB2.0 and well over eSATA -- but we wonder if Western Digital isn't shooting itself in the foot here. Despite a lower RRP, you'd be better off picking up the equivalently sized Studio Edition for a little bit more, getting the eSATA cable, firewire capability and an extra four years on your warranty.

The My Book Premium ES Edition is available in 320GB and 500GB capacities.

Sustained Transfer Rate (MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

WD My Book Premium ES (eSATA)
66.4  
WD My Book Studio Edition (eSATA)
53.7 
WD My Book Studio Edition (Firewire 400)
36.9 
WD My Book Studio Edition (USB2.0)
32.8  
WD My Book Premium ES (USB2.0)
28.4 

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