Western Digital My Book Studio 2TB review

At last, an external hard drive with features that aren't gimmicks!

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Our Verdict

A feature-packed external HDD with more than the average drive


  • Good use of e-ink technology
  • FireWire and USB connectivity
  • Great value for money


  • Cannot use as a boot drive

Western Digital's My Book Studio 2TB desktop drive boasts a similar feature set to its portable stablemate the Passport Studio, reviewed last issue.

It's bundled with the WD SmartWare application, supplied on a Virtual CD that mounts with the hard drive. This enables you to back up your data, set an access password and customise the impressive 12-character label on the drive's display, which is based on e-label technology and therefore always on, even when the drive is switched off. You can write anything you like, but it's always in block capitals.

The display also offers a capacity indicator showing how much free space remains. As this disappears if you use the drive on a computer that hasn't got SmartWare installed, it's far more at home sat on your desktop.

Turbo drivers for fast copying are also included, and you can switch off the Virtual CD if you don't want it to appear on your desktop.

Connectivity is through USB 2.0 or FireWire 800, with a FireWire 400 adapter also included in the box.

In our tests the drive performed admirably, offering solid write speeds and read speeds that out-perform most external drives of its type. Given the feature set, My Book Studio is great value for money at £165 for 2TB too.

In fact, its only significant drawback is it can't be used as a boot volume due to its integrated virtual disc, but its feature set, performance and sheer value for money more than make up for this.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeHard Drive
Product FamilyMy Book Studio
Drive Width3.5"
Brand NameWD
Drive TypeExternal
Storage Capacity2 TB
Host InterfaceUSB 2.0, FireWire/i.LINK 800, FireWire/i.LINK 400
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
  • Plug n Play
  • USB 1.1
ManufacturerWestern Digital Corporation
Product ModelWDBAAJ0020HSL
Product NameMy Book Studio WDBAAJ0020HSL Hard Drive
Product LineMy Book Studio
Manufacturer Part NumberWDBAAJ0020HSL-AESN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.wdc.com
Marketing Information

A FireWire 800 interface makes this drive a high-performance answer to your Mac storage needs. Protect your digital life with visual backup software, drive encryption, and password protection. Use the innovative e-label to personalize your drive and easily archive media collections.

Weight (Approximate)1.18 kg