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Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of memory devices. By this I don't mean device that help improve my mental memory, I mean device that help store things on so that I can keep things like images, videos, music and data safe and sound, safely knowing that I can access it at anytime, so long as I've got that particular memory device at hand at the time.
Anyway, as I said, I have amassed many of these devices, from small 512MB pen drives that are big as a breeze block to 64GB sticks that are so small it makes me wonder how on earth so much data can fit on something as small as a penny piece.
But one particular memory storage device I like to have in my cupboards for a few reason is in fact an external hard drive, (or HDD as the techies will know them by).
I like these external HDDs as they can store a lot of information and keep it safe, as most memory device can I hear you shout, but the thing with these external HDD are that they can store a lot more data than the average pen drive due to the fact that they are bigger in size, physically, but this physical size makes them slightly less portable.
One external HDD that I have is from a company that I have used products from before, including internal HDD, with the results being more positive than negative, so buying this HDD felt like the right move, and so it was, much to my happiness.
The HDD that I am talking about is in fact from Western Digital (or WD) with its full name being the WD Elements Desktop WDBAAU0020HBK, which is a 2TB.
What does this Hard Disc Drive or HDD look like..?
It looks like an old fashioned police box from the sixties, a bit like something you'd expect Doctor Who to climb out of with his sonic jack hammer in hand...
It is really a simple box shaped object, being about 125mm wide by 200mm deep and 35mm high, with a black thin metal casing having the WD logo etched on the top so you know exactly what company made it.
On the side, or front, or back, depending on how you look at it, there is a mini USB port and a power socket, together with a little led light to let you know if the HDD is transferring data from or too it.
And that's it. That's what it looks like. As I said, simple. But it's what's inside that matters because this HDD has more space inside it than Doctor Who's TARDIS itself, almost.
So how much space is it really?
Well, let's look at it this way, your average good quality song is say 5MB, with a good quality dvd feature being about 1GB, (top quality one that is at a gig). So you could fit two thousand dvd quality films on this or, if you have that many, you can fit four hundred thousand MP3 tracks onto this... 400 thousand, come on, I mean, who on earth has got a music collection of 400 thousand tracks, apart from Cliff Richard who's bought all his own songs hoping to get that Christmas number one slot instead of the usual X-Factor single that grinds out over the festive season.
Personally I have about 1000 music tracks so they look totally lost sitting on this HDD.
And don't get me started on how many images you can store on this as I don't think I can writer that many numbers down...
If that's not enough space then you seriously need to either edit your data and delete one or two things, or maybe even invest in a larger TB size unit to store even more on.
Do I need any special requirements...?
Yes you do. Firstly, and most importantly, you will need a computer, obviously, which will need to meet certain minimum specifications, such as MicroSoft Windows XP and above, or, for those running Mac, you can use this is you have Mac X 10.4 or above, but it may need reformatting before hand.
And what about using it then..?
This is as simple as plugging the USB lead into your PC, pushing the other end into the HDD USB port, (or visa-versa), then, once your PC has found the drivers, (you only have to find them on the initial set up, not every time you plug this in), you're away and running, ready to transfer your data to and from this little black number.
Anything else that may be helpful...
It runs at 7200rpm and has a seek speed of less than 9ms, offering up to 480Mb/s,
It is what they call plug and play, which is posh talk for a device that when you plug it in it will, or should, be ready to work due to the fact that the drivers required to get it going are 'built in' to the device so you don't have to go searching on line for them, sometimes spending hours downloading the wrong drivers and spending more time pulling your hair out...(look at my profile picture and see what happens when this happens..??)...
This HDD is supposed to take up to 30% less power consumption that a standard device, meaning that it should be better for your delicate CPU and more importantly, your wallet as it may save you a few pence per year...(every penny counts as they say). Plus it has a sleep mode system which uses even less power when it is left plugged into you PC on standby.
It uses a 2.0 USB interface and is backward compatible for those that are still living in the dark ages, plus, it also turns off when you turn your PC off, which is useful indeed if you forget to take the leads out when you shut down your PC.
As I said, I have a collection of HDDs, both internal, with a caddie, and external, all holding bits of information from pictures to music, data to dates and a whole lot more. This particular HDD is one of the biggest that I have, storage wise, and physical wise come to think of it.
It looks sleek and is very well built, having nice curves in just the right places so that it is not only useful it looks the part when it's sat on a table doing what it's supposed to do.
It may seem a bit chunky, and is a little bit compared to some external HDDs that I have owned or even just used, but it's not so bulky so that you can't carry it around with you from place to place.
Personally, I have mine on the shelf at home, using it to store more personal items on, such as family pictures, music tracks and a lot of written data, so I don't really cart it from one place to another.
The speeds of data transfers are good, in fact, they are very good and depending on what sort of data it is you can get it too and from the HDD in minutes.
For example, I sent an 837MB movie over to this from my PC using the 2.0 USB and it took just over 8 minutes, with a few dips and spikes as it went along.
It stays pretty cool, I'm talking heat wise, not cool as in nice to look at, even though it is nice to look at in a way. But as for heat wise it stays pretty cool, even after it has been plugged in for a while, hours in fact, and the metal casing remains as cool as a cucumber, so to speak. There's no problem with touching the metal case as it doesn't burn the skin on my fingers, it just feels slightly warm, and that's it, slightly warm, which tells me that the inner workings aren't over heating and going to blow up like a fat man in an all you can eat Mexican restaurant.
This one is a 2TB version in this range, but there are other sizes to choose from, such as the 1TB or the even bigger one, the 3GB version, so there's a choice for those that want more or less storage space. But for me, having 2TB in one little place is very good indeed. Think about it, 2,000,000MB of space, that's 2 million, yes million, that's a lot of space.
I do have to say that if you end up filling this up, or even half filling it with your 'stuff' then when it comes to scanning it for virus's you can be waiting a long time for the scan to finish. But that's what I expect from a HDD that contains a lot of 'stuff'.
As for the packaging, well, it came in what I can only describe as an oversized box, with the HDD seeming a little lost when I tore into it, taking out the manual and leads to see if everything was there.
Luckily, as the box is made of card board it is totally recyclable and I was able to drop it straight into the correct bin.
It is initially for window but, as the destruction manual and the few bits of paper that came with this clearly state, this can be reformatted to work with Mac OS.
I can't really comment on the statement that this uses 30% less power as I haven't set about testing this in anyway what so ever, but if anyone has done this test then please let me know if it's true or not.
So what about the price of this storage system..?
This massive 2TB version sells for around £80 to £90, although I have seen it on sale for over £100, which is still good value for money considering the storage space it offers.
In all, this is well worth looking into if you're after a small place where you can store a lot of data, although when I say look into it I don't mean take a screw driver an drip the unit apart, I mean have a look at what this offers in the form of storage, reliability, speed and above all price.
This was a very affordable external hard drive, at £70 from PC World. Totally easy to use, there is an instruction manual but even if you are not a computer pro, it is easy to do. I loaded tons of photos, videos and music on it and have over 70% of room left! It is small, so you can store it very easily (we have ours on a small shelf) beside the laptop to save table space.
All you have to do to access what is on there is plug the USB into your computer and it loads up straight away. Having this drive has made my laptop a lot faster. It is a weighty solid unit, ours is in black, and feels like a good quality product.
What I do is figure out what I want to dump on to it and put it all in a separate folder on my computer, then transfer it all onto the external hard drive in one go.
I finally made the plunge and purchsed my self a external hard disc drive to back up my vast music collection. I found the western digital external hard drive at my local Currys and after chatting with the sales assistant decided to purchase it. I had previously had the bad experience of my laptop dying on me and was already in the process of burning all my cds onto my new laptop and thought that it was about time I had a permanent back up for my music and all my photo files.
The hard drive itself is simplicity itself to use, simply plug it into the mains and connect a usb from the drive to your laptop and off you go. I didn`t even need to consult the instruction book, and i`m certainly not a computer person. All you have to do is copy and paste music, pictures and important documents over to the hard drive.
What reall appeals to me is its small size and quiet operation. You don`t even have to switch it on or off, just plug the usb into your laptop and it ready to go! Its also a solid looking piece of kit and the casing feels reassuringly solid.
The 2tb capacity really is huge. I have every cd in my collection and all my photos and its just on 14%! I cant imagine how I will ever fill it unless I start backing up all my dvd`s aswell.
overall this hard drive was exactly what I was looking for ; simple to use and with a huge capacity in a solid package.
I had yet another external hard drive purchase recently and what bad timing it was with supplies low due to the terrible disasters in the main manufacturing countries. The prices for these things has shot up and I found a lot of my regular brands were sold out or far too much over my budget. I always read reviews on Amazon and here before purchasing electrical equipment and settled on this Western Digital Elements Desktop 2 TB external hard drive.
This external hard drive has a nice, simple and stylish design, being a shiny and matt black colour. The design shape is a flat rectangular box that can easily sit on your desk or desktop PC. The drives dimensions are 1.42 inches height, 7.01 inches depth and 4.59 inches width. There are unfortunately no pretty power lights with this drive apart from at the back where a tiny white dot indicates that the drive is on.
This drive has a 2TB capacity and is used by simply connecting your USB 2.0 cable into your PC and the AC adapter into your power supply. It has a plug in and play functionality and so no disk or formatting is need for Windows PC's. One word of caution to MAC users: "Designed for use with Windows-based computers. Can be easily reformatted for use with Macs". In which case is not as simple as plugging it and playing as you can for Windows, but I imagine it is not too difficult to achieve.
The external hard drive has a data transfer rate of up to 480 Mb/sec, which is not amazing. Typically external hard drives run slower than internal additional drives, but what also slows them down is their capacity which in this case at 2TB is quite huge and so unfortunately it is not the quickest transfer rate machine to go for. This is particularly evident when you are playing movies or replaying data off the drive. However if it is storage facilities you are after then this is more than adequate to drop your files onto.
Western Digital drives have what they call 'WD GreenPower Technology', which reduces the internal drive power consumption by up to 30%. The drive also has a sleep mode that reduces power during idle times, and a power-saving feature turns the drive on and off when you do so with your computer. These are all very good for the environment and money saving concepts, though I do feel the transfer rates suffer as a result.
The box contains: One 2TB External hard drive, USB cable, AC adapter, Quick Install Guide.
Operating temperature: 5°C to 35°C.
Non-op. temperature: -20°C to 65°C
Overall I am not so impressed with this external hard drive, my Toshiba 2TB seem to work a lot quicker than this, however I should have perhaps paid more attention to the transfer speed as I replay large data files and this seems to struggle with them. At £103 at the time of writing it is cheaply priced at the moment due to the situation mentioned above, I would imagine they will come down in price once production resumes.
It seems that no one has reviewed this external hard drive yet, which is suprising as the Western Digital elements 2TB hard drive is one of the most popular out there, and currently the highest selling external hard drive on Amazon.
In terms of hard drives, this is the best value for money. I remember a few years ago when I considered myself the pioneer of hard drives, I spent a £130 and was the only person I knew that had one, at that time I only got 200gb. For those of you less computer literate, it could fit about 60,000 songs on it. I guess this does seem like a lot. However the hard drive I am reviewing can fit around 600,000 songs, so 10 times as much, for £50 less. I guess it shows how quickly technology changes over time.
So the hard drive itself is black, and quite solid. I guess it does not really matter about the colour as I did not buy this for it to look pleasing and complement my room, but simply to back my many files up. However one aspect that does bother me is noise, normally I have my music blasting out, but when watching a tense movie with silent scenes, I need a nice quiet external hard drive and thankfully this is as quiet as they come.
In terms of transfer times, I guess you would expect it is not the quickest. Witha 480mb a second speech, your looking at a good few hours to transfer Terabytes across, so what I would suggest is starting the transfer and then going away from your computer, maybe to sleep or out. This is due to the fact that when you use the computer some of the processes that could be helping transfer the files will go to the tasks that you are performing and hence slow the process down. If your looking to transfer faster maybe look into hard drive that provide firewire connections.
Videos do stream relatively smoothly from it, so no complaints in this departments and playing tracks is great. Personally I just use the hard drive to make a scheduled backup every few weeks of everything on my computer and then put it away. The power supply as you can imagine with a drive this size is external, it would have been great if like more expensive drives that it was powered by a USB, but it was not too be, and this is really just a minor gripe.
Overall this is the best value for money external hard drive out there, of course long term reliaibility is the main aspect, and around a year from now, I will come back to update this review, and let you know if it is still running as smoothly as now, and if there has been any problem. For 2TB at £79.99 currently on Amazon you really can't go wrong.