It sounds dull, but if you haven't already, you need to think of a backup plan for your pictures, video, documents and everything else you've got crammed on to your computer. Western Digital thinks it's got Mac users covered with the My Book Mac. But has it? We check out the new hard drive.
The hard drive is called My Book for a very good reason: it looks like a book. The matt black casing wraps around the drive inside like a cover of a book, while the silver venting top, bottom and rear is designed to look like the pages. Completing the look, the indicator light is on the front as if it were the title. The design is very clever, very minimal and very smart. It's not your average grey/beige box you need to hide.
The design also helps with space on your desk. Because it looks like a book you'll be pleased to know it takes up as much space as one. It's not a thin short story more Harry Potter's last outing, but it?s still small - especially when you consider it packs up to 1TB of space within it.
Around the back the connections are as minimal as the design. There is a USB socket, power adapter and Kensington locking slot so you can attach it to your desk and that's it. Western Digital is clearly keen to keep it simple.
Plugging it in the hard drive forces the icon to automatically appear on your desktop and because this is Mac formatted, you'll be able to transfer files straight away.
The disk does come with what at first looks like a promising folder titled "WD_Mac_Tools", but in reality this is just the manual in a 100 different languages.
When it comes to transferring those files you get the single option - USB 2.0 - with no hint of FireWire anywhere to be seen. Too be honest it's not the end of the world and means that you'll be able to connect it to your computer or a USB socket friendly network hub like Apple's router. You can then use it with Apple's Time Machine backup software or as a central drive to share content around your house - we've used it to expand our Apple TV storage capabilities.
Speed and performance is good although it is noisy with most of the noise coming from the device resonating on our desk. Using a book or pad dampened this noise, but you still got the whurr of the drive. On the performance front it took 1 minute 30 seconds to transfer a single 2GB file, more than fast enough for most. That 1TB, according to WD, will let you store up to 285,000 digital photos, 250,000 songs (MP3), 25,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality), 76 hours of Digital Video (DV), 440 hours of DVD quality video, and 120 hours of HD video.
The stylish design is hampered only by it's noisy running. If that isn't an issue then this hard drive will sit happily on your bookshelf next to your computer hiding into the shadows.