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Circuit Breaker

Western Digital’s hard drives have an all-new look and can we be okay with that?

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Western Digital’s "My Passport" line of portable external hard drives have never been mistaken for fashionable. They cry out, "Forget me in a desk drawer somewhere!" They’re utilitarian, and do frequently store computer files adequately. But where’s the zest? I mean, just look at this sad object:

Aren’t you sad now? I’m sad.

Now Western Digital is doing a total about face and releasing an all-new design for its My Passport and My Book hard drive lines. Here’s an ad about how colors define people:

Are you excited? I’m excited. I’m not sure why I’m excited, because right now you can get a 1TB boring My Passport drive at Best Buy for $59.99, while these new drives start at $79.99 for 1TB. But I guess I just hate seeing ugly hard drives in the world, and now there will be fewer of them.

My colleague Sean O’Kane, however, hates beauty. He had this to say:

I’m all for refreshing design choices, but these new drives almost look too consumer-y. Western Digital’s hard drives might have been bland, but to me, the design reinforced the idea that they were reliable. I look at these new hard drives and have a hard time immediately buying into the idea that they’re going to last me a long time, which is a big part of the purpose of an external hard drive. (Then again, we’re talking about HDDs and not SSDs.)

Interesting thoughts, Sean. Too bad you’re wrong. Here’s my rebuttal: