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Western Digital Passport Portable (250GB) review: Western Digital Passport (250GB)

If you're consistently moving large amounts of data between places and burning DVDs is starting to get your goat, you could do a lot worse than picking up one of these incredibly useful devices.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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Every time notebook hard drives increase in size, so do the portable hard drives they're often stored in. Thus we have now hit the 250GB mark, and Western Digital is the first across the line with an external product.

passport_1.jpg
7.9

Western Digital Passport Portable (250GB)

The Good

Acceptable transfer speed.

The Bad

Not very rugged. Anemic software bundle.

The Bottom Line

If you're consistently moving large amounts of data between places and burning DVDs is starting to get your goat, you could do a lot worse than picking up one of these incredibly useful devices.

Design
Piano black seems to be all the rage these days, and the fingerprint magnetised surface consumes the top half of the drive, the other half treated to a matte finish. A single blue, LED lit circle lets you know that you've plugged it in through the USB 2.0 connection, which also powers the drive.

Features
Unlike Seagate who includes the portable Ceedo software suite with its FreeAgent Go series of drives, Western Digital only includes WDSync, a synchronisation tool for easy back up of email, files and bookmarks.

A three year limited warranty is available for the drive, so you can haul it from place to place with (near) reckless abandon. The Passport's casing however is nowhere near as solid as Seagate's FreeAgent Go, so if you're more concerned about ruggedness than capacity, the Seagate may be a better bet.

Performance
As a larger capacity drive the latest Passport also outperformed its nearest rival, the Seagate FreeAgent Go 160GB, returning a decent sustained transfer rate that should mean streaming DVD resolution movies off it shouldn't be a problem.

If you're consistently moving large amounts of data between places and burning DVDs is starting to get your goat, you could do a lot worse than picking up one of these incredibly useful devices.


Sustained Transfer Rate (MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Seagate FreeAgent Go 160GB
22.5 

Western Digital Passport 250GB
30.5 



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