With 320GB of space the WD My Passport Essential is great value.

Its compact design is supposed to resemble that of a small notebook, which keeps it in the same theme as the larger My Book hard drives.

The difference is this device houses a 2.5-inch laptop drive, which spins at 5400rpm.

Speedy transfers

The styling is simple with a mini-USB connector for hooking up to your laptop and a small LCD light to indicate when it is active.

It supports both Windows and Mac OS X. When it came to testing, we found it could copy 1GB of files in 70 seconds, which is fast for such a drive.

When it comes to extras you'll find security software pre-installed, which allows you to password-protect and encrypt the drive. There are also synchronisation tools, which make backing up data from your laptop easier to handle.