Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
The WD My Passport Edge isn't exactly thin enough to cut anything, but it's indeed noticeably thinner and more compact than most other portable drives on the market, and it's also very good-looking.
The new portable drive is based on an ultrathin internal drive, and currently comes with just one capacity of 500GB. Supporting USB 3.0 (USB 2.0-compatible), the Edge offered fast performance in my testing and didn't get hot at all, despite its compact size.
The new My Passport Edge isn't the thinnest portable drive on the market; the
Personally, however, I prefer the included software that WD has for the My Passport. If you're looking for a cool way to back things up and keep data secure while on the go, the WD My Passport Edge still makes for a very decent investment.
|Drive type||2.5-inch external USB hard drive|
|Connector options||USB 3.0, USB 2.0|
|Capacity of test unit||500GB|
|Dimensions (LWH)||4.34 inches by 3.21 inches by 0.5 inch|
|OSes supported||Windows 2000 or later, Mac OS 10.4 or later|
|Software included||WD SmartWare (WD Utility, WD Security, WD Backup)|
Design and features
At first sight, the My Passport Edge is very different from previous models in the My Passport lineup, such as the
The new Edge comes with a Micro-USB 3.0 port on one side and includes a standard foot-long USB cable. This is the only cable you need; it handles both power and data functions. Using bus power is now a standard feature for most if not all portable USB drives. The Edge supports USB 3.0 and should be used with computers that also support this standard for best performance, but it also works with USB 2.0 ports. I tried the drive with multiple computers, and all of the USB ports were able to power the drive. Similar to other My Passport drives, the Edge has four tiny rubber feet on the bottom to help it stay put on any surface.
The My Passport Edge is designed for Windows (there's a Mac version called, cleverly enough, My Passport Edge for Mac) and in terms of setting it up, there's nothing to it. Out of the box the drive is preformatted using the NTFS file system; when plugged into a computer with the included USB cable, it's up and running. Of course, like all other external drives, you can always reformat the Edge into HFS+ to use it with Macs.
The drive contains the WD SmartWare suite, which includes WD Drive Utility, WD Security, and WD Backup applications; I found these very useful. WD Drive Utility is a set of utilities that helps check on the drive's status, or test its functionality; WD Security lets you secure the drive's content with a password; and WD Backup is a handy backup program.
WD Backup actually makes making backing up data a very easy and intuitive job. You can choose to back up folders and files, or it can automatically back up important data, which is very useful for those who aren't as computer-savvy. The only complaint I have about it is that it doesn't back up the entire system as an image for system recovery in case the hard drive fails, or when you want to upgrade your computer to a new internal drive.
The My Passport Edge performed well for a drive of its size. I tested both with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and in both cases, it wasn't the fastest, nor was it the slowest, either. Overall it's right about average.
When used with USB 3.0, it scored 83MBps for writing, which is slightly faster than the GoFlex Slim, which reached 82MBps. In the read test, however, it registered 98MBps, slightly slower than the Slim. When used with USB 2.0, the drive averaged 25MBps and 33MBps for writing and reading, respectively.
The My Passport Edge worked very quietly in my testing and produced no vibration and almost no heat at all.
Good-looking, sturdy, and very compact, the new WD My Passport Edge is a very good portable storage and backup solution for novice users.