Sure, 85.3 percent of your best buds are kickin' it in Cozumel right now, but a few bright minds at California State University, Long Beach have been toiling around the clock in those dreaded summer sessions in order to help create the five-pack you see pictured here. In order to give its already colorful My Passport Essential line a long overdue refresh, Western Digital has now added a handful of limited edition 500GB models with rather stylish exteriors. Boom Box, Black Hole, Cityscape, Fuchsia Leaf and Wave are the prints to choose from, and all five can be snapped up for a window of time at Best Buy or via WD directly. As for specs? You know the drill -- USB 2.0 powered, 256-bit hardware encryption and a two-year warranty. Take your pick for $119.99, dude.
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New My Passport® Essential™ Limited Edition Designs Portable Drives Personalize Storage With Signature Styles

For Students by Students: WD® Collaborates with Design Students at California State University, Long Beach to Make External Hard Drives Fashionable


LAKE FOREST, Calif., July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced its new 500 GB My Passport® Essential™ limited edition designs (photo) portable hard drives, available exclusively at Best Buy® and WD's store. Consumers can choose from several unique designs that appeal to a wide variety of personal styles, ranging from outdoor enthusiasts to urban trendsetters.

Designed by students at California State University, Long Beach's Industrial Design program, the drives are available in the following styles: Boom Box, Black Hole, Cityscape, Fuchsia Leaf and Wave. The decorative patterns are especially geared for students who want to express their individual style while choosing a reliable, ultra-portable place to store their media and back up their valuable work.

The drives are Windows® compatible and include WD SmartWare™ software, which provides a simple, visual method for backup using a single-screen view of the drive's contents.

"The contents of individuals' portable storage contain all the ways they express themselves – music, images, and videos – and tell a story about who they are," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing of WD's branded products group. "Expressing individual style is important. That's why we teamed up with California State University, Long Beach design students, who have their finger on the latest fashion trends."

My Passport Essential limited edition designs portable drives also feature user-selected password protection combined with 256-bit hardware-based encryption. Typically found only on much more expensive drive systems, the encryption acts as a virtual padlock to keep users' data private.

Price and Availability

The new My Passport Essential limited edition designs are offered in 500 GB and have a 2-year limited warranty. My Passport Essential limited edition designs are now available exclusively at Best Buy and online at www.wdstore.com. MSRP is $119.99 USD.

My Passport Essential Limited Edition Designs

The new WD My Passport Essential limited edition designs portable hard drives feature:

* Five unique designs that let consumers express their individuality;
* 256-bit hardware encryption for peace of mind knowing that data is protected from unauthorized access;
* USB 2.0 interface that powers(1) the drive directly from the USB port on a user's computer (no separate power supply is needed);
* Planet-friendly packaging derived from recycled materials to minimize waste;
* Ready to plug-and-play with Windows PCs; and,
* A 2-year limited warranty.

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WD tosses out high-fashion 500GB My Passport Essential drives, props to the LBC