My Book Pro Edition 500GB full review

Even if your desktop Mac still has plenty of room left on its internal drive, maintaining an external backup is always a smart idea. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, the My Book Pro Edition 500GB hard drive gives you plenty of breathing room for your sundry files, plus enough space for your backups.

The rounded edges and silver finish of the My Book’s plastic case give it the style of a glossy, medium-sized book. One interesting touch we found is that the holes dotted around the casing is Western Digital’s corporate statement (integrity, reliability… that sort of thing). So it’s clear that somebody has spent time thinking about how this device should look… and it shows. The My Book Pro is one of the cleanest looking external hard drives on the market.
And it’s not all style over substance. The circular blue activity LED on its spine isn’t just for show: it provides important information. For example, the indicator area lets you know at a glance how much remaining storage is available (in 17 per cent increments of total capacity), although activating this feature requires installing an OS X driver. The only other software included with the drive is EMC’s Retrospect Express backup utility.

Installing the My Book is as easy as plugging in the drive’s power adapter and connecting the drive to your Mac using one of its USB, FireWire 400, or two FireWire 800 ports. A generous six feet of cable gives you freedom to place it anywhere within your workspace. In operation, the My Book is normally in standby mode and spins itself up as it’s accessing
your data.

In performance testing, the My Book Pro Edition turns in quite respectable stats when compared with smaller capacity desktop drives. It even beat the speedy LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface 300GB in a Photoshop test by five seconds. The My Book Pro Edition represents the top end of this line of drives, but lesser models in the My Book family feature FireWire 400 and USB, or USB alone, and are available in a variety of capacities from 80GB to 500GB.

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