Western Digital's My Book Premium Edition is designed to make the storage and archival of music, videos, photos and documents, quick and easy. It provides 465GB of formatted space via a 7200rpm hard drive with a 16MB cache buffer and it can be connected to a PC using USB 2.0 or FireWire. The button on the front of the unit can be used to turn the unit on and off and is encircled by a unique indicator, which can tell you how much hard drive space you have used up.
While the My Book is made out of plastic, it has ventilation holes all around so that the warm air generated by the hard drive can escape. Its shape (which is meant to resemble a book) allows it to be situated upright or flat on the desk.
As for performance, we tested both the USB 2.0 and FireWire connection, with some surprising results. Usually, USB 2.0 tends to be quicker than FireWire when transferring data to and from an external hard drive, but with this drive, our dataset moved quicker along the FireWire connection. Copying data from the My Book to our test PC, which used a 10,000rpm hard drive and an MSI K9N Platinum motherboard, the drive recorded a transfer rate of 29.1MBps (megabytes per second) using the USB 2.0 connection, and 35.33MBps using the FireWire connection. Copying data from the test PC to My Book with the USB 2.0 connection attained a rate of 25.23MBps and the FireWire connection getting 26.23MBps.
The user interface is uncluttered and graphical, allowing schedules, full and incremental backups and file restoration to be undertaken without any hassle.
Verdict: Its cost per gigabyte of $1.26 is competitive for a large external drive, so if you need that many gigs, the My Book is worth considering.