Announced within a press release earlier today, Western Digital has shipped the first, portable 2.5-inch hard drive that has a storage capacity of two terabytes. Western Digital was also the first hard drive manufacturer to create a 2TB, 3.5-inch portable hard drive during 2009. The small, My Passport 2TB model comes with USB 3.0 connectivity allowing users to transfer data at speeds up to 5 gigabits per second. The drive also ships with WD SmartWare for backing up software or data files as well as WD Security to utilize hardware encryption and password protection for blocking access to the drive, ideal since the small size may make the drive more prone to misplacing within the workplace or even public places.
The entire My Passport line of drives has been upgraded to USB 3.0 connectivity and doesn’t require a separate source of power beyond USB. Western Digital estimates that a typical user can transfer 500 photos in less than a minute via USB 3.0 compared to a little over 2 minutes on USB 2.0.
Transferring 2000 songs takes approximately four minutes with USB 3.0 compared to 8.5 minutes on USB 2.o and moving a two-hour high definition movie takes about five minutes on USB 3.0 compared to nearly 15 minutes over USB 2.0. These estimates will likely vary due to differences between hardware setups.
While the 2TB model retails for $249.99, Western Digital also offers a 1.5TB for $199.99, a 1TB model for $179.99, a 750 GB model for $149.99 and a 500 GB model for $129.99. The cheaper models are available in black, gray, silver, red and blue. However, the 2TB model is only available in black at the moment. While definitely thicker than a typical smartphone, the small form factor of the drive allows the user to easily slip it into a pocket, handbag or briefcase. If looking to make the jump to Thunderbolt instead of USB 3.0, Western Digital also recently released the MyBook Thunderbolt Duo in 4 TB and 6 TB configurations starting around $600.