I’m working on another one of my Globe Tests articles for the Boston Sunday Globe business section, where I get to do what I normally do: play with fun toys.

Last time, it was computer mice, and the Globe and Blast saw something like 12 computer mouse reviews as a result.

The WD My Passport Studio maxed out at 32.7 MB/sec, which is admirable.

This time, it’s portable hard drives.

One of the drives that my story will feature is the Western Digital My Passport Elite, a delicious, beautiful 2.5-inch 500 gigabyte USB 2.0 hard drive with a soft, leathery finish‚  and a 5-year warranty.

One of the drives that didn’t make it into the story, however, is the WD My Passport Studio, another 2.5-inch 500 GB hard drive, only this one is formatted for Mac and supports FireWire 400 and 800 for faster data movement.

We test drives with HD Tune Pro 3.10. The two drives are virtually identical on USB 2.0 mode.

The My Passport Elite was just as good, really

The My Passport Elite was just as good, really

The Studio tested just a little bit faster, but that could easily just have been random background interference. For all intents and purposes, the Studio is an elite with Firewire and Mac-formatting, and that’s really yummy (yeah I didn’t have dinner tonight, I’m hungry) for video folks, graphic designers, photographers, etc., because 500 GB is just a sick amount of data (today). I don’t care who you are.

The Studio is formatted HFS+ Journaled, and it‚  supports Apple Time Machine

The only major difference: the My Passport Studio doesn’t have the Soft-touch Finish. What gives WD? You couldn’t leather this one up too?

It’s important to note that while they’re small and possibly edible, these are still hard drives — rotating metal discs and lots of moving parts. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re iPod Nano’s. They’re designed to be packed up and move around but I wouldn’t go jogging with one in my pocket.

Both drives have lighted capacity indicators showing you how full the drive is, which is useful if you plug it into a server and are doing automatic backups.

Both drives also are 100 percent powered by the computer you plug it into — no external power supply required.

By the way, 500 GB can hold 220 hours of DVD video, 125,000 MP3s, or 142,000 high-resolution photos.

Please look out for my Globe Tests column this Sunday in the Boston Globe Money & Careers section or Boston.com/Business!

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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