Western Digital intros USB 3.0 1TB My Book HDD

Western Digital today launched the My Book 3.0 USB 3.0 desktop external hard drive, the company’s fastest My Book external HDD to date, as WD jumps the gun on a week that should be full of USB 3.0 product announcements.

The entry-level My Book 3.0 series HDD has 1TB storage capacity, but WD is expected to launch a 2TB edition during CES later this week.  The drive is backwards compatible using USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 — but the “SuperSpeed” high speeds can only be reached when the drive is plugged into a PC or notebook with USB 3.0.

“Consumers no longer have to wait for technology to keep up with their ideas,” said Dale Pistilli, WD branded products group VP of marketing, in a statement.  “With the new super speed My Book 3.0 drives, consumers have the speed they need for resource-intensive video editing, animation, and graphic design applications.”

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WD has given the 1TB My Book 3.0 a price tag of $179.99 by itself, or $199.99 including a USB 3.0 PCI-e adapter card.  Pricing of the 2TB model hasn’t been released.

The USB 3.0 format, expected to be extremely popular during CES later this week, provides transfer speeds up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0.  By 2013, research group In-Stat expects USB 3.0-powered devices to top 1 billion units, which will be at least 25% of the market.  OCZ, PQI and others have launched USB 3.0 storage devices, while USB 3.0 flash drives also have been announced in recent weeks.

Since most computers don’t have USB 3.0 support yet, it will be some time before consumers are rushing out to purchase USB 3.0 products.

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