Western Digital Adds FireWire Interface To Passport

Oct 30, 2008 (12:10 PM EDT)

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Western Digital's Passport Firewire Hard Drive
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Western Digital's Passport Firewire Hard Drive
My Passport Studio is available with up to 500 GB of storage.
Western Digital on Thursday started offering its My Passport Studio portable hard drive with a FireWire 800/400 interface for Mac users.

Firewire is Apple's brand name for the IEEE 1394 serial bus interface for high-speed data transfer. Sony and Texas Instruments use the brand names of i.Link and Lynx, respectively, for the interface. In adding the technology to Passport, which is available with up to 500 GB of storage, WD is trying to appeal to creative professionals using Apple Mac desktops and notebooks.

"Photographers and videographers, be they creative pros or Mac computer enthusiasts, have a genuine need for large amounts of fast, portable storage for their high-definition files," Jim Welsh, senior VP and general manager of WD's Consumer Electronics Group, said in a statement.

The Passport, which weighs less than seven ounces, has a built-in illuminated capacity gauge that shows how much space is available. The drive is powered by the FireWire or USB 2.0 connection.

The Passport can be formatted for either a Mac or Windows PC. The latest Mac drive has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $230 for 400 GB and $250 for 500 GB. The Passport comes with a five-year limited warranty and will be sold through Apple stories, as well as other retailers.

FireWire 800 is available in the latest MacBook Pro launched this month. Apple, however, dropped FireWire from its latest MacBook, the consumer notebook also introduced this month. The lack of FireWire in the consumer model angered many Apple customers, who made their feelings known on Apple's support forum.