Western Digital MyBook 3.0 External Hard Drive Review

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Overview

  • Pros

    • USB 3.0
    • Fast
    • Free USB 3.0 expansion card

     

  • Cons

    • Same design as previous gen

     

Quick Take

If you’re looking for a quicker way to make backups, but still need some degree of portability, look no further than the MyBook 3.0.


The Western Digital (WD) MyBook 3.0 brings together one of the most reputable brands in the storage industry with one of the fastest transfer standards available on the market today. Can a simple upgrade to USB 3.0 really make this a worthwhile buy, or is USB 3.0 just more hype? Read on and find out.

Specifications:

  • Model: WDBABP0010HCH-NESN
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Transfer standards: USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
  • Warranty: 2 years limited hardware warranty
  • Hard drive: 7200 SATA 
  • Dimensions: 1.9 x 5.3 x 6.5 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

What’s in the box:

  • 1TB MyBook 3.0 USB 3.0 hard drive
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • A/C adapter
  • PCI-e to USB expansion card
  • Half-height PCI-e slot adapter

 

Western Digital MyBook 3.0

Build and design
Western Digital has been making their MyBook line of external hard drives for a few years now, and in all that time, the design hasn’t changed all that much (come on, WD – jazz it up a bit).  Inspired, as one might assume, by the shape of a large paperback book, the MyBook hard drives have always been reliable, large banks of storage.

Western Digital MyBook 3.0 Western Digital MyBook 3.0

Inside of the box is the hard drive itself, which is a little over 6 x 5 inches, and under two inches thick. There’s also an A/C adapter and a USB 3.0 cord. If you haven’t seen a USB 3.0 connection cable before, you might do a double take.

At one end of the USB cable is a typical USB plug, like what plugs into the side of your desktop or notebook. If you look down inside, you might see some extra pins – these carry the extra data and power channels that USB 3.0 provides.

Western Digital MyBook 3.0 Western Digital MyBook 3.0

The other end is a micro-USB 3.0 plug that gets inserted into the MyBook 3.0. It’s very similar to the end of a micro-USB 2.0 cable, but with an extra hanger that plugs into a secondary connector that provides the USB 3.0 capabilities. The extra width almost makes it look like a micro-HDMI cord.

In a pinch, a micro-USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 cable will work just fine and let you pull data off of the MyBook 3.0, but you’ll naturally be limited to the lower speeds and throughput that USB 2.0 offers.

Western Digital MyBook 3.0External upgradeability
The bonus to picking up one of these external storage drives is that they offer an instant, easy upgrade to your computer, all without having to open any panels or disconnect any wires. As a result of being easy to use, they’re really designed more as an appliance than a component. That means if something goes wrong, you toss it out and buy a new one – you don’t really try and fix or upgrade it.

Of course, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and if you’re a little bit handy, you’ll probably be able to pull the MyBook 3.0 apart in no time. Inside of this one was a Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black drive, running at 7200RPM. Interestingly, this Caviar Black drive was an early-2010 model that offered users just 32MB of cache when the first models were reported to have shipped with a 64MB cache model. Regardless, it doesn’t really make a difference for an external drive use case.

Western Digital MyBook 3.0 Western Digital MyBook 3.0

The hard drive itself is mostly removable, meaning that if you have a 2TB or 3TB drive lying around, you might try putting it in. These external hard drives can be tricky, though, and it might not work – leaving you with no hard drive and a voided warranty, so take caution.


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