Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II Dual Drive review
1TB+1TB hard disk, USB Hi-Speed, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, eSATA, 170x100x150mm
Western Digital's latest My Book external hard disk consists of two 1TB disks.
In RAID 0 mode, the two disks' capacities are combined to give a whopping 2TB of storage, but if one disk fails then you'll lose all your data. In RAID 1 mode, the contents of one disk are mirrored on to the other, so all your data will be safe if a disk fails, but just 1TB of storage will be available. There's a choice of four interfaces: eSATA, USB, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400.
The My Book was impressively fast over eSATA when configured as either RAID 0 or RAID 1. It wasn't as quick as we'd expected when connected over USB and FireWire in RAID 0 mode, especially when compared to non-RAID disks. It was quick over USB when configured as RAID 1, although it struggled a little when writing files when we used the FireWire interfaces.
Despite its RAID 1 support, the My Book doesn't allow you to replace a faulty disk. Instead, you'll have to send it back to Western Digital for servicing; this is inconvenient, but at least the hard disk has a five-year warranty. The cost per gigabyte of 13p is also undeniably low.
The My Book is ideal if your computer has eSATA and you need lots of storage. If you need an external RAID array with easily replaceable disks, LaCie's 2Big Triple is a better buy, even though it has a smaller 1.5TB capacity and lacks eSATA.