Western Digital announced on Thursday an expansion of its line of external hard drives, adding USB 2.0 connectivity to the
group and introducing the new
group. In addition to a USB 2.0 port, the WD Dual-option and WD Essential drives feature a front-mounted power button, 7200RPM spin speeds and 120GB, 160GB, 200GB and 250GB capacities, with the latter also available with 80GB of storage and the former also offering a FireWire port.
The Dual-option line includes a Safe Shutdown feature that automatically transfers data before the drive is shut down and comes with Dantz Retrospect Express software for backing up files on-demand or automatically. Unlike the WD Essential drives, which have 2MB buffers, the Dual-option drives sport 8MB buffers, except for a 2MB option on the 120GB model. The WD Essential line doesn’t ship with any software.
Pricing wasn’t announced, but Western Digital did note that the WD Essential line requires Mac OS X v10.1.5 and that the WD Dual-option line requires Mac OS X v10.2.8.