Western Digital’s My Passport lineup is among the most popular and best selling of portable external hard drives on the market. Recently, they have completely redesigned their entire portable hard drive lineup, and even incorporated a newer look and feel to the devices. In addition, they have added a 2TB drive to the line, making the My Passport the first 2TB storage capacity 2.5” (portable) drive on the market.
Before we get started with the review, here are some photos from WD’s website. Aside from their standard My Passport lineup, the My Passport Mac Editions and My Passport Studios have also been re-designed and updated.
My Passport for Mac
My Passport Studio
The differences among the drives is quite simple.
- The standard My Passport is available in several more storage capacities than the Mac or Studio editions. The case is made out of either Western Digital’s scratch resistant plastic, or a smooth solid finish, depending on color:
Blue (smooth finish)
Red (smooth finish)
Silver (smooth finish)
Black (scratch resistant plastic)
White (scratch resistant plastic)
- The Mac Edition is a bit more limited, with one color option available to match the design of most Mac computers. It also has USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0.
- The Studio Edition boasts an all metal design and USB 2.0 + Firewire, where other editions are USB 3.0 or 2.0 only.
2TB My Passport Review
I recently purchased the WD 2TB My Passport. In comparison to their previous lineup, the My Passport Essential SE, the new drives are quite improved.
The new My Passports are just slightly taller than their predecessors, which is not too noticeable. Height and width are very close, if not unnoticeable.
The new scratch resistant coating and new finishes on the drives, however, is greatly improved. Upon owning the previous version of the drive for about a week, I noticed how quickly it is to pick up scratches, dust, and other imperfections. The latest My Passports do not show scratches, near as much dust, do not show fingerprints, and other imperfections. In my opinion, they are also sleeker.
The actual drive of the new My Passport 2TB is implemented a bit differently than previous generations.
With the USB controller placed directly on the drive, rather than being a separate adapter with a SATA interface that plugs into the drive, there is slightly less circuitry needed for the unit. The direct connection offers less components and adapters, and more of a straight through engineering design. However, this also means that you cannot rip the shell off of this hard drive and use it in a laptop computer. Alternatively, the drive makes it’s 2TB from four 500GB platters which requires a 15mm construction. Thus, this drive likely wouldn’t fit in most laptops anyways.
This drive is no speed demon. It’s a 5400 RPM drive and you will not buy this drive and be amazed by the speed, as it is designed more to be a high capacity, low power consumption, reliable drive. However, it does have USB 3.0, a nice improvement over USB 2.0; so if your computer supports USB 3, than you will obviously get a bit more out of this drive than someone who owns a USB 2.0 computer.
I would extend the review with info about the specialty software that comes with the drive. However, most people seem to not care for it. Rather, you can simply format the drive for Windows or Mac normally, which seems to be most people’s preference.
Alternatively, buying the Mac edition is likely not the best deal out there, unless you want to pay more for a drive that simply has the words “Mac Edition” printed on the case.
Here is the standard My Passport that features USB 3.0, backwards compatible with USB 2.0. Priced $159.99 for 1TB and $129.99 for 500GB.
Here is the Mac Edition My Passport that typically retails for more. It has USB 2.0, which is currently what Macs support. Still, it is less technology for more money.
If you are a Mac user, I recommend purchasing the standard My Passport in silver to match your Mac computer, rather than the Mac Edition. Simply because it is cheaper and has USB 3.0. From there, simply use Disk Utility to format the drive to OS X Extended Journaled.
Overall, I am fairly glad that I purchased the new Western Digital My Passport 2TB. The drive has enough storage capacity to hold all of my music and movies, yet it’s also a portable USB powered solution. The 2TB version, just being released, is not yet available in stores like Best Buy or Amazon.com. In addition, it has recently sold out on Western Digital’s website, making it one of WD’s fastest selling products to date. No worries, however, as WD will likely be ramping up production of these drives within the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for stopping by the site for today’s post. Even if you aren’t in need of 2 terabytes, the overall design and casing of WD’s latest Passport drives is something you may want to consider, if looking to buy a new portable, external hard drive.