Western Digital Corp. this week launched external hard drive that allows users of Apple Macs to easily store and backup data directly from their systems. The dual-drive My Book Studio Edition II storage device is currently shipping and offers up to 2TB storage capacity.

Based on internal testing, the new drive uses about 30 per cent less energy than standard dual-drive external storage devices, Western Digital officials claimed. The device supports Apple's Time Machine backup utility and can be configured to plug into Windows PCs, the company said.

The new dual-drive, formatted for Mac computers, costs US$350 (approx. £175 excl. VAT) in a 1TB configuration, $600 (approx. £300 excl. VAT) for a 2TB model, Western Digital said.

My Book Studio Edition II does not include a fan, significantly reducing noise output, the company said.

The company also noted that the dual-drive system is equipped with high-speed eSATA and FireWire 800 interfaces to handle complex video editing, 3D objects rendering and special-effects processes. The drive also supports FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces, and includes embedded backup software automation capabilities and a Safe Shutdown feature to protect data against system crashes.

Western Digital said its new Mac-friendly My Book Studio Edition II storage drive can hold up to 571,400 digital photos, 500,000 songs, 240 hours of high-definition video and 880 hours of DVD quality video.