Conclusion, Pricing, and Thoughts

Conclusion:

PROS:

  • Improved random access performance over the earlier (3TB) Red.
  • Quiet, vibration free operation.
  • Great sequential read and write speeds (especially from the 2.5").
  • Power sipping thanks to Green pedigree.
  • 3-Year warranty with 24/7 support hotline.
  • 1,000,000 hour MTBF (35% boost over other consumer-grade hard drives).

CONS:

  • None (the con for the Red used to be seek times, but this has been corrected)

Pricing and Availability:

Intro MSRP's are as follows:

  • 3.5" 4TB:      $229 ($0.06/GB)
  • 2.5" 1TB:      $99   ($0.10/GB)
  • 2.5" 750GB: $79   ($0.11/GB)

Warranty:

Standard Western Digital 3-year Warranty (plus 24/7 support hotline specific to Reds).

Final Thoughts:

It's great to see Western Digital expanding their Red line in both capacity and form factor. The 4TB 3.5" model is a welcome addition likely to prompt an upgrade cycle from those who are hungry for more capacity. While the new 2.5" capacities fill what is currently a bit of a niche market, I suspect more small form factor HTPC and other portable RAID storage devices to become available this coming year, and the 2.5" Red will fit that bill just perfectly.

The Western Digital gets our Gold award for continuous expansion (and improvement) upon a very popular and in-demand unit.

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