Seagate may have beat them to the 3TB punch, but that doesn’t mean that Western Digital is out of the game. On the contrary, today the company unveiled its own 3TB hard drive, in the form of the WD My Book Essential. The 3TB number pairs nicely with the interface upgrade; to help move that much data that much quicker, WD finally added USB 3.0 to the lineup.
Like Seagate, WD faces the same problems with inreasing the hard drives’ storage density. BIOS software, which runs the low-level operations of most PCs and handles things like startup functions, doesn’t support that much space.
Even for computers with the alternative EFI software, operating systems have to be patched to add support. For now, then, WD’s 3TB option will be available as an external drive only. While the drive inside wasn’t mentioned, if it follows Western Digital’s usual pattern of introductions, it’s likely a Caviar Green.
In addition to the new My Book Essential, WD also updated their mobility-oriented My Passport Essential Drives with USB 3.0. The new standard promises to move data along at speeds of up to an order of magnitude faster than its former revision.
The new My Book Essential 3TB drive will be available for $249.99 (the same MSRP as Seagate’s 3TB GoFlex option – which, coincidentally enough has gone on sale to $229.99 in response), while the new My Passport Essential SE drives are available for $129.99 to $169.99, depending on price.