The well-known My Book is arguably a design classic, and its curves are certainly easy on the eye. Next to the slim Minimus, though, it looks a little showy, and cumbersome.
Western Digital wasn’t able to supply a 1TB model, so we used the 2TB and 3TB models in our performance tests. This means the results aren’t directly comparable with other drives in the Labs this month, but they speak well for Western Digital. The 2TB model in particular achieved impressive transfer rates of around 130MB/sec in our large-file tests, and 64MB/sec and 79MB/sec in our small-file write and read tests. Oddly, the 3TB model fared worse, giving performance on a par with other manufacturers’ 1TB models; it seems wrinkles are still being ironed out of these high-capacity disks.
On the software front you get Western Digital’s SmartWare suite, which carries out constant background backups, much like Apple’s Time Machine system. And the My Book is fairly economical, with the $99 1TB model working out at only 10.6c per gigabyte and the 2TB model dropping to 6.3c per gigabyte. If SmartWare appeals and if you like the curvy design, the My Book Essential is a decent drive at a decent price. considering.