Western Digital shipping "My Book" book-shaped external drives

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Western Digital's My Book, Premium Edition, with the clockwise LED capacity indicator on the "spine."

Lake Forest (CA) - Cashing in on new consumer demand for high-capacity, portable storage, Western Digital is now shipping its "My Book" line of external drives that look like, you guessed it, books. These vertically standing 7200 RPM drives will come in 80 to 500 gigabyte capacities. The "Essential" version sports the USB 2.0 interface, while the "Premium" edition includes Firewire 400, backup software, and an LED-based clockwise capacity gauge on its "spine."

WD promises its My Book drives will be easy to install, requiring no CDs or extra drivers for plugging into anyone's computer. They automatically power down and back up again with the computer to which they're attached. For reliability, there's shock protection to guard against accidental bumps, plus numerous ventilation holes along the back of the chassis that will keep the drive cool while simultaneously, if feebly, maintaining the whole "book" motif.

All My Books will ship with Google software, enabling users to search their documents and pictures locally. Prices start at $149.99 for the 160 GB Essential version, and range up to $349.99 for the 500 GB Premium edition.