WD My Passport Edge review: Solid USB 3.0 hard drive for mobile users

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The Good The WD My Passport Edge is compact, and offers fast USB 3.0 performance as well as useful software.

The Bad The My Passport Edge is comparatively more expensive than other drives of the same capacity.

The Bottom Line Thanks to its compact physical size and bundled software, the WD My Passport Edge is a very good companion for mobile users.

7.6 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Support 8

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 Seagate GoFlex Slim is about 0.15 inch thinner. For this reason, at the current street price of $110, the new Edge doesn't really edge out the Slim, which costs just $80 and offers the same storage space.

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
Available capacities 500GB,
Capacity of test unit 500GB
Dimensions (LWH) 4.34 inches by 3.21 inches by 0.5 inch
Weight 9 ounces
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 My Passport Portable, or the My Passport Studio.The Edge is significantly thinner than more compact. Other than that, however, it's very similar to other WD My Passport drives.

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.

WD Backup is very useful backup software for novice users.
WD Backup is very useful backup software for novice users. Dong Ngo

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.

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