The trickle down effect has hit Western Digital’s 2.5-inch Passport external drives in the form of an e-paper display. Customizable always-on e-label smart displays were already available in some of Western Digital’s 3.5-inch external drives, such as the My Book Studio, and have now appeared on the company’s new My Passport Studio portable drive that also features a sleek brushed aluminum appearance and FireWire 800 to complement the standard USB 2.0 interface.

The big plus of the e-label is the fact that it is always on – even when the drive is unplugged. So there’s no need to power the drive up just to see how much free space is available. Also the customizable display can be used to personalize the drive or remind users of the content – much cooler than a sticker or Post-it note.

The shiny silver exterior of the drive suggests it is targeted at Mac users and the fact the drive comes HFS+ Journaled preformatted for Macs confirms this. But a quick format is all that’s needed if you’re a PC user.

The new My Passport Studio is fully compatible with Apple TimeMachine, while there’s also the option of the included WD SmartWare software, for your backup needs. After the first backup using the software, users' files are backed up automatically every time a file is changed or added.

Security features include user-selected password protection combined with 256-bit hardware-based encryption, which scrambles files before they are stored. The e-label will display if the drive is locked or not.

The new My Passport Studio drives come with a 3-year limited warranty and are available from Western Digital in capacities of 320 GB, 500 GB and 640 GB with prices ranging from US$149.99 to US$199.99.

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