High-tech performance in a compact package.

I love being able to carry a portable hard drive around with me. I sort of feel like it’s an absolute necessity these days since my laptop’s hard drive is only 250GB. If you plan on manipulating media of any sorts, that’s just not enough space to work with. My issue with external hard drives is that the can easily be damaged if they are jostled around too much. That’s why SSDs are such a great option for external devices and now Western Digital has one in the My Passport line of products that provides fast read/write speeds for users.

DETAILS

The My Passport SSD provides performance that takes your productivity further. With it, users can save, access, and protect valuable files with read/write speeds up to 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s respectively. The SSD features NVMe technology and comes in three different capacities — 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Data that is stored on the My Passport SSD is protected with password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption. The SSD is housed inside a metal case that is drop-resistant up to 6.5 feet. It’s also shock and vibration-resistant. Simple backup software is included and it’s compatible with Apple Time Machine (requires reformatting). There is no set-up required and the SSD is ready to use right out of the box. It’s compatible with PC and Mac operating systems and the hard drive is equipped with USB 3.2 Gen-2 technology. The SSD ships with a USB-C cable with a USB-A adapter for legacy systems.

Capacity500GB, 1TB, 2TB
ColorsBlue, Gold, Gray, Red
InterfaceUSB 3.2
ConnectorUSB-C
CompatibilityWindows® 10, Windows 8.1 operating systems
macOS Catalina, Mojave, or High Sierra
Requires reformatting for other operating systems
Compatible – USB 3.2 Gen-2 and USB-C (USB-A for older systems)
Dimensions3.94″ x 2.17″ x 0.35″
Sequential Read Performance1050MB/s
Sequential Write Performance1000MB/s
In The BoxPortable SSD drive
USB Type-C™ to Type-C cable (supports USB 3.2 Gen 2)
USB Type-C to Type-A adaptor
WD Discovery™ software for backup, and password protection (Internet activation required)

USER EXPERIENCE

The hard drive comes in a WD branded box with an image of the HD on the front. The capacity of the drive Is indicated in the top right-hand corner of the box and some of the main features of the HD are listed on the front as well. One of the sides of the box calls out the fact that the SSD is shock resistant, can provide password protection, and serve as a backup drive. The back of the box provides the specs of the device in both English and French. All in all, it’s a very nice retail package and if I were to go into a store and pick the SSD off of the shelf without any prior knowledge of the device, I would be able to make a judgement call on whether or not the HD would suit my needs based on the information included on the box.

When you open the box, you will find the SSD laying inside a plastic tray along with its connection cable (USB-C with a USB-A adapter) and a pamphlet with use instructions and regulatory information. The hard drive design is very sleek. The WD logo is embossed into the case and there are raised ridges in the bottom corner that give the illusion of a wave. At first, I didn’t think they were actually raised; I thought it was an optical illusion, but when I ran my finger across it, I discovered that it was a series of ridges that really make the hard drive stand out design-wise. The USB-C port is located on the bottom of the case. One of the things I really like about this SSD is the very short cable that comes with it. It’s just long enough to plug into your computer and it’s not so long that it creates cable clutter.

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Upon plugging it in, the hard drive will appear on your desktop within a matter of seconds. The title of it by default is “My Passport”, but you can change it to read anything. When you open the hard drive disk image, you will find two installation files — one for Mac users and one for Windows. This installation is for WD Discovery. It’s a utility app that allows users “to download and keep up to date other WD Apps such as WD Security app, WD Backup, and WD Drive Utilities, and learn about software from WD partners.” I’ve installed it in the past and not really found it essential for my needs, but it’s not a bad utility. The nice thing is that you don’t have to install the software in order to use the hard drive.

In order to test the hard drive, I ran two different speed test apps and then did one transfer timing test. The first two tests are designed to test a hard drive’s performance and provide an estimate of how well it might work with different types of media. The third test is really meant to give potential users an idea of what to expect from a real-world example. The Blackmagic Disk Speed Test provided a reading of 818.3 MB/s WRITE and 899.5 MB/s READ. That test also showed that the SSD can handle working with video up to 2160p60 in Cinema DNG RAW format.

The next set of tests I did was using AJA System Test. This app allows users to test how well hard drives will do with different types of video footage. I tested the WD SSD with two video resolutions — 1920×1080 HD-1080p and 4096×3112 4K-Full. With the 1080p resolution, the read/write speeds were 523/648 MB/s respectively and with the 4K resolution, the read/write speeds were 803/920 MB/s respectively. Finally, I did the real-world drag-and-drop test. I copied a file that was 2.11GB in size directly from my computer’s hard drive to the SSD. That translates to a transfer speed of 21.98 MB/s.

CONCLUSION

I’ve always been impressed with Western Digital’s products and this SSD is no exception. I love how compact it is and easy to transport since it’s an SSD. I did expect it to be a little faster as far as transfer speed goes, but it’s read/write performance was very good. I did notice that the SSD would warm up after being connected to a computer for a prolonged period of time, but it cooled down quickly. Other than that I didn’t really have any issue with the hard drive and I thought it performed admirably against my tests.

For more information, visit westerndigital.com, Facebook, and Twitter.