Ever since I took down the Windows Home Server and converted it as a Linux file server, I have been having some trouble connecting my wife’s Windows 7 laptop to the Samba file shares. And recently her hard drive is getting full and we need a quick way to back up her work. So I decided to pick up a Western Digital My Book Essential while it was on sale.
The My Book Essential is a cheaper version of the My Book Elite. The main difference is the LCD display on the My Book Elite shows you numerically how much room you got, whereas the My Book Essential has a 1-4 bar LED display. Personally, I think the cheaper version is a better value :)
It is a USB 2.0 device. I noticed that the My Book 3.0 with USB 3.0 connection is also available. But it would have cost an extra $30 for a connection my wife’s laptop does not support. I thought I should refrain from trying to future-prove by spending more. Overall, I am happy that at least it is Mac friendly.
Deboxing… The packaging is pretty simple, not too much garbage to dispose of.
It is nice that it came with everything I need to connect it to a PC.
Power adapter, USB cable, some small printed materials and the My Book Essential. Nothing more, nothing less.
Compared to the WD My Book Studio II I got earlier this year, the My Book Essential is smaller and has the WD logo at the front of the drive. It is not a RAID setup so the width is only half of the WD My Book Studio II.
Compared to the My Book Studio II, the My Book Essential has a simpler ventilation grill design.
One nice feature of the My Book Essential is that the WD Smartware software has the ability to lock the drive access, making it only readable if you know the password. This is a great feature if you ever wonder how you could protect the data in an external hard drive in case of theft. The only inconvenience I found is you have to remember to open the Smartware software, unlock the drive by using the password you set before Windows recognizes the drive. It is a bit cumbersome.
Overall, I am very happy with the performance and price point of the drive. We paid $150 including HST for the 1.5TB version. It is quiet and does not run hot at all. And it works great with Genie Timeline!