WD My Passport series (Spring 2012) review: WD My Passport series (Spring 2012)

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.3
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 6.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The USB 3.0-based WD My Passport Portable offers top capacity and fast performance in a compact, good-looking, and sturdy package. It also comes with useful software, and it's relatively affordable.

The Bad The My Passport's included backup software doesn't allow you to back up on a schedule.

The Bottom Line The WD My Passport Portable makes an excellent portable drive for use with both desktop and laptop computers, at home or while on the road.

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According to Seagate, a new recording technology is required for 2.5-inch hard drives to offer 2TB of storage space. WD's latest 2TB My Passport drive proves otherwise. Nonetheless, the new drive has likely reached the final frontier in terms of storage space for the current perpendicular recording technology.

Despite the top capacity, the new My Passport is as compact as any other portable drive in the My Passport family, even more compact than some, and is bus-powered, meaning you only need one cable for both data and power. At a street price of around $200 for 2TB, the drive is a great deal.

If you're looking for a portable drive for backup or storage expansion purposes, both at home or while on the go, the new My Passport makes an excellent choice. If you want something more flexible or rugged, also consider the Seagate GoFlex Ultraportable or the Silicon Power Armor A80.

Drive type 2.5-inch external USB hard drive
Connector options USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Available capacities 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, 2TB
Capacity of test unit 2TB
Dimensions (LWH) 5 inches by 3.3 inches by 0.7 inch
Weight 0.5 pound
OSes supported Windows 2000 or later, Mac OS 10.4 or later
Software included WD Utility, WD Security, WD Backup
Service and support 2-year warranty

Design and features
Judging by how it looks, you wouldn't think that the new My Passport offers the top capacity of the current recording technology. The drive is very compact; in fact it's 0.2 inch shorter than the 1TB version of the WD My Passport Studio.

The drive has one Micro-USB 3.0 port and comes with a standard 1.5-foot USB cable, which is used for both power and data. It works with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. I tried the drive with multiple computers, and all of the USB ports were able to power the drive. It has rubber feet on the bottom to help it stay put on any surface.

There's nothing to setting up the My Passport when used with a Windows computer. The drive is preformatted in NTFS; all you need to do is plug it into a computer and it's ready to be used. If you want to use it with a Mac, you'll need to reformat it into HFS+ before you can write to it. The drive is preloaded with WD Utilities and WD Security for both OS X and Windows. The former is for monitoring the drive's condition, reformatting it, and so on, and with the latter you can turn the drive's security features on or off. Note that once the security feature is turned on, if you forget the password, there's no way you can access the data on it.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • Capacity 1 TB