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Western Digital My Book Essential review

Western Digital My Book Essential
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT

With great performance, styling and software, all at a very reasonable price, the My Book Essential is a fantastic external hard disk.


2TB hard disk, USB3, 48x135x165mm

Western Digital’s My Book external hard disks are all stylishly understated and the Essential is no exception. The free-standing black enclosure has a single LED light to indicate disk activity, which isn’t distracting when sat on a desk. This 2TB model has plenty of storage space, as well as USB3 support for faster data transfers.

Even though the hard disk inside is a Caviar Green model, designed for energy efficiency rather than performance, the My Book Essential still managed very impressive 98.4MB/s write and 148.8MB/s read when handling large files. Small file read speeds were equally rapid at 71.8MB/s, but writing them proved more of a challenge; 30.4MB/s can hardly be called fast when compared to other USB3 disks, but overall performance was still amongst the best we’ve seen from an external disk.

Western Digital My Book Essential

The fairly comprehensive SmartWare backup tool comes pre-loaded on the drive, which can scan individual folders or entire hard disks for new or changed files. When a change is detected, a backup gets created automatically. After the initial setup, it works silently in the background so you’ll always have an up-to-date backup of your important documents. The interface is easy to navigate and very straightforward, which makes protecting your files much easier than other, more complicated programs.

The combination of great performance, useful software and minimalist styling makes the My Book Essential appealing. Factor in the low £90 price and it’s a Best Buy.


Hard disk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB
Capacity 2TB
Formatted capacity 1.81TB
Price per gigabyte £0.05
Disk size 3.5in
Interface USB3
Power connector external
Spindle speed 7,200rpm
Cache 32MB
Seek time 8.9ms
Weight 1.2kg
Size 48x135x165mm
Power consumption idle 4W
Power consumption active 7W

Buying Information

Backup software included WD SmartWare
Price £90
Warranty two years RTB

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