This is an old archive page of HWZ prior to revamp. Please visit HWZ for the latest reviews and news.


» Channels :: Storage
Western Digital Media Center
By CPU-zilla
Category : Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 15th March, 2004
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


Western Digital's latest Media Center external drive combines the best of their desktop storage solution with features supporting all the various solid-state media devices. Built specifically for both the corporate or home user who needs a portable backup device in addition to doubling its support for various card standards, the Western Digital Media Center aims to please with both performance, compatibility and flexibility.

Housed in a sturdy plastic case with a metallic look and feel, the Media Center is equipped with Western Digital's latest 250GB 7,200RPM hard disk drive. From the model number displayed when the Media Center is plugged into the test system, it's actually based on the drive with the Ultra ATA-100 interface (WD2500JB).

Those who are not familiar with what it offers, the name Media Center might bring one to believe that this box is actually some sort of a video playback device, much like what some of the Media Center PCs are doing today. However, it does nothing of that, as the name implies it being the center of all your various digital storage media. Built into the drive, you'll find support for eight different memory card formats, including Compact Flash Type I & II, IBM MicroDrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMedia Card (MMC) and SD Card.

On the front panel, you'll find the card reader slots, backup and power buttons, as well as an extra USB 2.0 port.

From left to right : Kengsington lock socket, two FireWire ports, USB port (A), USB port (B) and power jack.

The Automated Backup (left), Backup On Demand (center) and Power (right) buttons.

Before we go on, let's have a look at its technical specifications below :-

Western Digital Media Center 250GB Technical Specifications
Interface Specifications
  • FireWire
    • FireWire, IEEE 1394, 1394a, i.LINK
    • OHCI and SBP-2 compliant
    • Two external 6-pin 1394 receptacles
    • Serial bus data transfer rates of 100, 200 and 400Mbps
  • USB 2.0
    • USB 2.0 and 1.1 compliant
    • One external "B" 4-pin USB receptacle
    • Serial bus data transfer rates up to 480Mbps
Media Types Accepted
  • CompactFlash™ Type I and II
  • IBM Microdrive™
  • SmartMedia™
  • Memory Stick™
  • Memory Stick PRO™
  • MultiMedia Card
  • SD Card
Performance Specifications
  • Average read seek : 8.9ms
  • Track-to-track seek : 2.0ms average
  • Averaga latency : 4.2ms nominal
  • Rotational speed : 7200 RPM
  • Buffer : 8MB
  • Actuator type : Rotary voice coil
  • Servo type : Embedded
  • Dedicated landing zone : Yes
  • Actuator latch/auto park : Yes
Formatted Capacity
  • 250,059MB
Physical Dimensions
  • 47mm (H) x 210mm (L) x 146mm (W)
Power Requirements
  • 100-240VAC, 47-63Hz
System Requirements
  • PC
    • Available USB port and/or OHCI-complaint FireWire port or adapter
    • Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
  • Macintosh
    • Macintosh computer with OHCI-compliant FireWire port and/or USB port
    • Mac OS v9.2.2 or later; built for Mac OS X v10.1.3 or later

Inside the kit, you'll find the following items :-

  • Western Digital Media Center external hard disk drive
  • 6 ft. (1.8m) 6-pin to 6-pin FireWire cable
  • 6 ft. (1.8m) USB 2.0 certified cable
  • AC adapter with power cord
  • Vertical drive stands (two pieces)
  • Feet pads for horizontal placements (four pieces)
  • Installation CD with Dantz Restrospect Express backup software
  • Quick Install Guide
  • Page 1 of 6 | Next>>