Western Digital My Passport External Hard Drive Review
The drive reviewed here is the Western Digital My Passport 1TB (WDBBEP0010BBK) which is the newest entry in the popular Western Digital My Passport series. As the name suggests: the drive is no bigger than an average-sized passport. Let’s dive in and explore it deeper.
On first impressions you wouldn’t believe that such a compact piece of hardware can hold up to 2TB of data, the only real clues you get that you are in fact looking at a portable hard drive is the small logo on the top face, a small LED activity light on the back next to a lonely USB 3.0 port. The drive shape is similar to that of the original iPod, particularly due to its rounded smooth corners and finish. The lack of sharp lines allows you to easily fit the drive in your pocket – even the 2TB version. A mightily impressive feat when you consider it was only a couple of years ago that it was barely possible to carry around 200GB.
One of the main visual differences with previous iterations of the series is the finish of the top face. Western Digital opted to go for a contemporary finish which consists of a series of glossy shaped dot-matrix that is applied on top of a matte plastic. The final design can be hit or miss with people, but in my eyes it’s a thumping elegant hit, and after fiddling with it for a while, I noticed that I didn’t leave any fingerprints that plague other hard drives with glossy exteriors.
Size and Weight
The size of the drive hasn’t changed much from its predecessors; however, depending on what size you go for, the dimensions are slightly different. The 2 TB version is the biggest of the My Passport model, however, it is still ridiculously small. With a thickness of only 21 mm / 0.82 in, it is just over double the thickness of an iPhone 4, the length of the drive is a mere 111 mm / 4.3in, which actually makes it shorter than the iPhone 4, and finally the width is equally as pocket-friendly, at a mere 82 mm / 3.2 in. The weight is just as impressive, weighing in at a measly 0.23 kg / 0.5 pounds – you can effortlessly slot this hard drive into your back-jeans pocket and do lunges without a hitch.
The highlight of the new features of this drive is by far the combination of the tiny size and the USB 3.0 capabilities, but there is another feature that people often overlook, and it is that the My Passport drive does not require a separate power supply – All you need is a single USB cable and off you go, seeing it all in action blew our minds.
The hard drive comes formatted as NTFS, which makes it ready to plug-and-play for Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, however it requires reformatting for Mac OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion, which is quite straightforward, simply follow these instructions: http://consumer.media.seagate.com/2010/01/the-digital-den/how-to-format-a-windows-disk-drive-for-a-mac/ Also, an important thing to mention is that for USB 3.0 speeds to work you must have a motherboard that has USB 3.0 ports and you must make sure that you use a USB 3.0 lead – which is slightly thicker than a standard USB 2.0 cable. If you do not have a USB 3.0 compatible motherboard you can buy a PCIe USB 3.0 card, but if that isn’t an option, this hard drive can still work normally on USB 2.0 machines, just at slower rates.
Two terabytes a few years ago seemed like a distant dream, but that day has finally arrived and with this 2TB external hard drive you will be able to store up to 400,000 photos, 150 hours of movies and 500,000 songs.
Ah, the moment you have been waiting for. We will try to keep this to the point and with numbers:
Using USB 3.0:
Read speed average: 126,5 MBps
Write speed average: 112,2 MBps
That makes it over three times the speed of USB 2.0. Nice.
What comes inside the box?
The drive is extremely well packaged and inside the minimalist box you will find the standard items;
1x Western Digital My Passport 2TB
1x USB cable
1x Quick install guide
1x Automatic backup software
1x WD Security software
1x WD Drive Utilities software
The official specs are as follow:
Serial Transfer Speed
Serial Bus Transfer Rate (USB 3.0) – 5 Gb/s (Max)
Capacity: 2 TB (two terabytes)
Interface: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
Height: 0.820 Inches / 21 mm
Depth: 4.4 Inches / 111 mm
Width: 3.2 Inches / 82 mm
Weight: 0.51 Pounds / 0.23 kg
Operating: 41° F to 104° F
Non-operating: -4° F to 149° F
Operating: 5° C to 40° C
Non-operating: -20° C to 65° C
If you are considering buying this drive, then it is safe to assume that you are after a huge drive that is easily portable, light and safe. Fortunately the Western Digital My Passport has all of that covered, even the one thing that every other hard drive manufacturer has failed to address –Protecting the fragile from falls and other damage – We highly recommend getting the official case for the drive designed by WD – the Western Digital WD Nomad Rugged Case.
The Western Digital WD Nomad Rugged Case is truly magnificent and will keep your drive safe from any possible damage forever, and is so light and snug on the hard drive, you will forget it is even there. It can even survive in the desert or under a storm, can any other hard drives claim that? Oh and it’s very well priced, as all Western Digital products are.
Excellent slick and modern small design
USB 3.0 = Everything is SUPER fast
No need for external power, you only need a USB cable to use it
Plug-and-play at its very best
Excellent pre-installed software with advanced security features
Very easy to create backups of your important files