External storage isn’t sexy. It’s important and probably necessary. But it’s not sexy. In fact, here’s a final caveat from the this morning’s Western Digital press release about its new external drives, “However ‘unsexy’ the world of data is currently…” What you have there is a company that’s largely accepted its fate on that front.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that a hard drive company can’t at least try to win you over with its good looks. Here’s the rest of that bit “…and how we treat it as commodity, our design language is meant to amplify our personal connection to data.”
That’s a grandiose way of saying that the company has done what companies do when they’re looking to makeover a staid product line. It enlisted the help of Yves Behar, the Swiss designer behind products like OLPC’s XO laptop – or at least his design firm, fuseproject. The company made over WDs My Passport and My Book lines – the “monolithic rectangular blocks,” as the company puts it in its own press material.
There’s are a company of chipper promotional videos and this quote from Behar, “Western Digital lies at the intersection of our physical life and the digital world, and we wanted to create a quality aesthetic that symbolizes this intersection.”
Honestly, though, all you really need to know is that their exterior has been snazzed up and the internals go up to 4TB on the Passport and 8TB on the My Book. Prices on the former start at $80 and the later $130. They’re available now through WD’s site and ship with a two-year warranty.
You can also read the “inspiring story,” if you’re so inclined.