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Kevin OBrien

Western Digital My Book Essential 4TB Review Discussion

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Western Digital has taken a "more is better" approach with its latest iteration of the WD My Book Essential HDD. The top model features a single 4TB drive and a USB3.0 interface to help speed up the process of filling it up. Like its predecessors in the Essentials line, the My Book is marketed primarily as a backup storage device. It ships formatted as NTFS and includes WD SmartWare backup software for Windows 7 and Windows 8 pre-installed. After a straightforward initial setup and backup session, the software will run in the background and create incremental backups transparently and with adjustable levels of version control. Mac users who want to take advantage of the USB3.0 interface shipping on current generations of Apple hardware can reformat the drive to HFS+ and use the drive as a Time Machine volume.

Western Digital My Book Essential 4TB Review

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Why don't WD and other HDD manufacturers just sell a reasonably cheap version of the casing only so that those of us who want can just shove our own HDDs in there and upgrade when we want...

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Probably because there is too little profit margin in selling just the enclosure. It also forces you buy the HDD makers' drives. Why make a cheap enclosure (or subsidize one) just so a consumer can buy your competitor's hard drive?

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There's plenty of third party options in the enclosure space where it's much more about design preferences than anything else. WD, et al aren't really configured to work in the mass market accessories space where they'd probably double the SKUs they handle now...or more.

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True but I'll always avoid their portable drives because of the significant mark up anyway. Most of their sales will be to consumers who aren't tech savvy/confident enough to buy a compatible OEM HD and stick it in an enclosure anyway. I'll just have to turn to companies like IcyDock, IcyBox etc and give them my money instead.

Edited by Noli

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Just want to chime in, albeit with large delay, lol, regarding enclosures and OEM drives I'd like to make is that very frequently external drives are priced lower than their OEM counterparts. As a matter of fact, a few bargain data centers used to buy large numbers of external drives and rip out the HDDs for their server racks. So most people actually prefer to buy externals not for the enclosure but for the drive within which is often cheaper than bare/retail drive by itself. Although it seems that lately this is being discouraged by the drive makers, invalidating warranty and whatnot.

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