Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006, Part 3: Components & Peripherals

Sleek, Huge, Stylish & Flexible: Western Digital MyBook Pro Edition

The MyBook is Western Digital's high-class external hard drive offering. The Pro Edition comes with triple interfaces: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/s), IEEE-1394a Firewire (400 Mbit/s) and IEEE-1394b Firewire (800 Mbit/s). WD bundles the drive with EMC's Retrospect Express backup solution, which has proven to be an excellent choice for desktop users. Like most retail storage products in this category, the MyBook has a programmable backup button to initiate incremental or comprehensive backup operations, but the software also allows you to schedule automatic backups. Unlike many other external hard drives, Western Digital provides a three-year warranty for its MyBook Pro Edition.

It comes with both Firewire cables, a USB cable, the AC adapter, the software and an installation guide. You should prepare to spend $349 for the 500 GB model. If you're looking for something more affordable, look at the MyBook Essential for $ 299 - also 500 GB, but with only the USB 2.0 interface. There are also many other capacity points available between 80 GB and 500 GB.