Western Digital announces its smallest external drive with USB 3.0

The move from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 ports gives the drives a 10-fold bandwidth increase

Western Digital today announced what it is calling its smallest external hard disk drive, the 500GB My Passport Edge, for both Macs and PCs.

The new drives are 4.34 inches long by 3.2-inches wide and .5-inches thick.

The drives are also an upgrade from the USB 2.0 (480Mbps) to the USB 3.0 (5Gbps) USB I/O interface.

"USB 3.0 for single drive is as fast as Thunderbolt," said Ralf San Jose, WD's branded product manager. San Jose was referring to the hard drive's inability to saturate Thunderbolt, Intel's high-speed interconnect technology, and its 10Gbps of bandwidth.

The My Passport Edge drive

The My Passport Edge drives come in an all aluminum housing and have native, hardware-based encryption. The MyPassport Edge for Mac, complements Apple's new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineups in looks and also in that they come configured to take advantage of Apple's Time Machine backup feature.

The My Passport Edge for PC incorporates WD's SmartWare continuous and automatic backup software to create a copy of the content on users' computers.

The new portable hard drives come with a three-year limited warranty and are priced at $109.99 for the PC version and $119.99 for the Mac version.

The My Passport Edge drive

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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