Western Digital Adds E-Ink Labels to External Hard Drives

Following on the heels of Verbatim, hard drive maker Western Digital has introduced two new external hard drives—the My Book Studio and My Book Elite—that feature E-Ink labels that show a drive’s name and remaining capacity, even when the drive is unplugged. The company has also introduced its latest My Passport Elite portable drive with a convenient grab-and-go USB dock.


All three drives also feature Western Digital’s WD SmartWare for continuous backups under Mac OS X and Windows; the SmartWare software also enables users to set up the E-Ink drive labels. The E-Ink labels can display a drive’s name, its remaining free capacity, and an indicator of whether the drive is locked.

The My Book Elite is available in capacities of 1, 1.5 and 2 TB, and feature a USB 2.0 interface and 256-bit hardware encryption so users’ data safe even if the drive is lost or stolen. The My Book Studio drives come in capacities of 500 GB to 2 TB and are aimed at Mac users; they’re pre-formatted with the HFS+ Journaled file system and offer both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 interfaces; they’re also compatible with Apple’s Time Machine backup system built into Mac OS X 10.5 and newer and offer 256-bit hardware encryption. The My Book Elites range from $169.99 to $279.99; the My Book Studios run from $149.99 to $299.99.

Western Digital My Book Elite external hard drive

The new My Passport Elite features an illuminated capacity gauge rather than an E-Ink display, but it’s all about portability rather than labeling: the slim, streamlined drives are designed to be docked and undocked from a grab-and-go USB cradle with just one hand, making them ideal for folks who need to move a drive between two locations with a minimum of fuss. The drive features a USB 2.0 port, but the grab-and-go go eliminates cable-futzing and port-hunting. The My Passport Elite drives are available now in capacities of 320, 500, and 640 GB at prices from $119.99 to $169.99; they also feature WD’s SmartWare backup system and 256-bit hardware encryption.

Western Digital My Passport Elite external hard drive