Western Digital My Book Studio 3TB external hard drive
WD My Book Studio 3TB review: Fast, stylish and Mac-friendly
- Sturdy, good looking
- Fast transfers over FW800
- No USB 3.0
- Formatted for Mac only (although easily fixed)
Western Digital's My Book Studio 3TB offers massive storage and fast transfer speeds to older-generation Macs using FireWire, and USB 2.0 is also included. We're waiting for a Thunderbolt update for Western Digital's range of Mac-friendly external hard drives, but for Macs of a slightly older vintage the My Book Studio is a high quality product.
Price$ 299.99 (AUD)
The Western Digital My Book Studio 3TB external hard drive is a simple solution for backing up data from your pre-2011 Mac via FireWire. If you've got a newer Mac you can use USB 2.0, but we'd wait for a Thunderbolt enclosure on those devices.
WD My Book Studio: Design and setup
The WD My Book Studio matches the latest crop of Mac desktops and notebooks — the iMac, the unibody MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini — with its brushed-aluminium finish. We're a big fan of this look — it's understated and quietly stylish and extremely scratch resistant. We carried the My Book Studio in a backpack with its power adapter in the same compartment, and the few surface scratches it sustained were easy to rub off with a damp cloth.
Techworld Australia secure storage reviews
- Group test: Encrypted external hard drive reviews
- Data Locker Enterprise review
- Data Locker DL3 encrypted hard drive review
- Eclypt Freedom 320GB review
- iStorage diskGenie review
- CMS ABSplus with Data Guard hard drive review
- CMS ABSplus FDE hard drive review
There are no fancy screens on the My Book Studio, with only a single white LED on the enclosure's front. It flickers brightly when the drive is in use, and turns off when the My Book Studio enters its low-power standby mode. In this mode, the hard drive spins down, saving power and silencing the device — the only downside is a wait time of around 8.5 seconds when you start accessing the My Book Studio again.
The enclosure's rear has two FireWire 800 ports — one direct connection and one to daisy-chain another device — and a USB 2.0 port using a mini-USB connector. Any Mac up to the end of 2010 or thereabouts will be spoilt with the high speeds from FireWire 800, and every other Mac or PC can use the USB 2.0 connection instead. Of course, Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 would be preferable, but we expect a bit more of a wait until these connectors are common.
WD My Book Studio: Performance
The WD My Book Studio is available in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB flavours, with corresponding prices of $179.99, $229.99 and $299.99. We think the 3TB is actually the best deal: the amount of storage space is immense for a single drive, and the price really isn't too far off buying a Western Digital 3TB internal drive and cheap FireWire 800 enclosure. The drive is HFS+ formatted and so will only read and write on Mac OS X. You can easily re-format the drive to NTFS for Windows use, but this is another step for new and possibly amateur users to undertake.
We tested the WD My Book Studio by half-filling it with data and then transferring 13GB of files back and forth from a mid-2010 MacBook Pro (with a third-party 120GB SSD installed) over FireWire 800. We were able to transfer 13GB of files from the MacBook Pro to the My Book Studio in 3min 12.3sec. Reading 13GB of files from the My Book Studio to the Mac took 3min 29.3sec. Both tests were averaged over three successive runs.
These transfer times translate into raw speeds of 69.3MB/sec for write and 63.7MB/sec for reading files — more than fast enough for any average user's needs, and fast enough to deal with the demands of video or photo editing software suites. We haven't tested the USB 2.0 speed of the WD My Book Studio 3TB yet, but we expect figures of around 40MB/sec for both read and write.
WD My Book Studio: Conclusion
The Western Digital My Book Studio 3TB external drive is quiet, fast and has plentiful storage. Its reasonable price tag makes it an easy-to-recommend choice for any Mac user looking to boost storage capacity with an all-in-one device.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCIDAM ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- TPDatawarehouse Analyst/DeveloperSA
- FTTest CoordinatorACT
- CCScada Project ManagerWA
- CCSenior Communications Advisor - Australian TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Web Developer/Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Training CoordinatorQLD
- FTWeb Content WriterACT
- TPSolution Architect - InfrastructureQLD
- FTWEB DesignerQLD
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Digital BANSW
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- CCSolution Architect with Magento experience wantedVIC
- FTSecurity ConsultantACT
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneVIC
- FTTechnical WriterNSW
- CCPega DeveloperACT
- FTProject Manager Performance & ControlsQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerWA
- FTProject Support OfficerQLD
- CCSenior Project Manger - Global MarketsVIC