The joys of computers and their various guizes are all very wonderful most will admit but alas a time comes when you need mobility!
Mentioned in previous articles I am a keen recording hobbiest which has recently led me to certain intriguing situations where in I found myself capturing various sounds outside, this has many problems in itself with microphone and editing techniques but the first major obsticle was an external storage device that didn't require the need of a mains power supply.
I admit i am personally not very knowledgable about the minute details of computer machinary, but after research i discovered that you can have the possibilty of a usb style flash memory hard drive with huge storing capacity. This brought me to the curious idea of doing it myself, I simply bought an external case and ordered the same drive within my laptop. Which just so happens to be this! The WD Scorpio Blue 500gb hard drive.
At the very respectable price of £50 all together i had a case and drive, for a novice like myself the idea seemed really challenging but in the end the design practically made everything a breeze. Literally taking minutes to install thanks to the wonderful push in connector.
The device itself is great! For recording it is really quiet, not noise has ever been discernable (more than i can say for a few other computer drives i dealt with previously). The design seems robust to withstand moderate use and most importantly after a few months use has failed to break.
The wife went out and bought a second hand laptop from a friend of a friend a few weeks ago, mainly due to the fact that she is the only one in the house to still be attached to the desk top in the corner.
This second hand laptop was in fact quite a good one, being a well known brand with a rather nice little dual core processor to boot. But, one closer inspection it lacked both memory and hard drive space, only having one GB of RAM and a measly 80GB hard drive. The reason for the 80GB hard drive so I discovered was that it had replaced what ever size HDD was in there before my wife bought it, so I'm guessing the RAM may have been taken as well, leaving the bare essential... I'm so glad my wife paid a low price for this one.
So, I set about improving the performance of her 'new' toy so that it worked to the best of its capabilities. I added another 3GB of RAM, giving it its full 4GB maximum, and adding a bigger hard drive.
Luckily, I had a spare hard drive which was looking for a bit of work so I dug it out of the box and set about swapping it with the smaller one which was inside the laptop.
This particular hard drive I had 'knocking about' was from a company called Western Digital , which most people must have heard of by now, and as I have used there hard drives before and have been pleasantly surprised by them each time, with the full and proper name of this drive being the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000BEVT.
* 2.5inch Internal Serial ATA hard drive
* 500 GB capacity
* 8MB buffer zone
* 300MBps Transfer rate
* 97 Mbps internal Data Rate
* 70mm by 100mm by 95mm
* Weighs 117grams
(Although this is irrelevant once it's inside your laptop or PS3)
* Shock Guard .
** MY OPINION...
As I said I have used Western Digital hard drives before so I hoped this would be as good as the rest, and it certainly is.
It came in the usual style package, this being wrapped in an air tight plastic bag surrounded by bubble wrap, all contained in a small card board box, and it was undamaged when I got it, so I quickly slotted it into place.
The Hard drive itself looks like a flat (ish) metal box, which does look a little on the fragile side, but once it's in the laptop it is pretty well protected, especially as it has what is called 'Shock guard', which helps protect the drive should the laptop be dropped accidentally, and 'SecureParks' which positions and secures the 'heads' into special 'slots' during use to stop them rattling around unnecessarily.
It was easy to fit into place, although all internal hard drives for laptops slide into place with some ease, once you know how to do it of course.
Once I'd secured it into place with the four tiny screws on the base of the laptop I went about installing everything onto it, starting with the OS and the online protection software, This all seemed to take no time at all considering I was starting from scratch and had to do all the updates of the OS first.
Anyway, when everything was on I then set about installing the wife's personal files from her old PC onto the drive, giving it a bit of a testing as I went, seeing if the transfer rate was as quick as they said, and it more or less was too, installing all the data needed in no time at all. Plus, which I found pretty nice, no matter how hard I pushed it, opening several files, searching many areas and more, the Hard drive was almost silent, only a slight 'whisper' coming from the laptop as it went about its disc searching, in fact at one point I had to put my ear right onto the housing just to check if it was still spinning, and it was. So the 'whisperdrive' technology is very true indeed.
As for the speed, well, the files I searched for opened in an instant, allowing more time doing what you're supposed to be doing instead of waiting for the drive to find what you've asked it too.
I can not comment honestly on how this new drive helps with battery life as I did not test the old drive before putting this one in and I don't quite know how old and battered this battery is. But as all other WD HDD's have improved battery life on other PC's that I have used then I'm guessing this should be the same.
The storage size says it has 500GB of space but it only allows around 474GB really, this is true of all hard drives, but 474GB of still plenty of room to store most, if not all of your data.
Now for the price, well this drive was bought from amazon for less than £40.00, which is not bad at all for (almost) 500GB of space, although the prices do range depending on how big you want it, (GB size wise).
In all, a very cheap hard drive which fits most newer types of laptops, (although do check your laptops specs before ordering). It runs almost silently as you work away, which is a blessing if you're in a quite room.