Product Type: Western Digital External Hard Drive
Newest Review: ... are powered by an adaptor, this also reduces their portability, and will add to the burden of weight that you have to carry around with y... more
Member Name: Ellendel
Western Digital My Book Essential Edition WDG1U5000 500 GB
Date: 10/06/12, updated on 10/06/12 (13 review reads)
Advantages: Good value, probably quite reliable, some minor shock proofing
Disadvantages: not enough shock proofing, a 50% track record of failure (in my case), requires independent power
I've purchased a few versions of these hard drives. They tend to be very competitively priced, and Western Digital have a reputation for producing quality products.
If one was to compare them to their namesake, a book, one would have to think along the lines of a large hard back bible, in a format just slightly larger than A5, not a pocket sized novella, or a mini-travel guide. They also have a significant weight, possibly comparable to a small netbook. As they are powered by an adaptor, this also reduces their portability, and will add to the burden of weight that you have to carry around with you. These drives cannot be powered by USB.
They are best suited then to home back-up, or storage extension, although I have slung mine in the car a few times and taken files over to a friends house. I found unplugging everything a bit of a hassle, but that is mostly because I have to crawl around on the floor under my desk to unplug adaptors. More practical "cable routers" will find this hard drive less problematic.
Of the two of these hard drives that I have purchased, one of them gave up the ghost after around 3 years. Over this period of time, I must confess that I had dropped it once or twice. It has to be said however that the failure did not occur after one of these accidents , but after a long period of non-usage. I was dissapointed, as I have sung the praises of these hard-drives over the years, and having survived my clumsiness, I more or less expected them to be immortal. Perhaps I shouldn't judge them too harshly though, and I may well buy another in the future.
I suppose the essence of my review is that these products may well be quite good quality. My breakage may well have been my fault, but did not occur immediately after an accident. Of the two drives that I purchased, one soldiers firmly on, and has been going now for around 7 years. These drives are probably a good purchase if you can treat them well, and don't mind using an adaptor. Just be aware that more or less any drive can fail, and it doesn't hurt to have critical data replicated in one or two different back-up locations.
Summary: Good, but not perfect
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