Review: WD My Passport SSD refresh brings zippy NVMe to the table

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The WD My Passport SSD is a cheap and cheap solution to improve storage in your MacBook Professional, packed into a trendy and compact casing you may carry round anyplace.

You probably have picked up an M1-equipped Mac mini or MacBook Air, one of many issues that might be a difficulty is increasing its storage capability. Since there are not any improve choices obtainable, shoppers must as a substitute look to exterior storage choices, and that usually means a transportable laborious drive of some description.

Western Digital’s My Passport line is long-running, and one which goals to offer storage that may transfer with the consumer wherever they go. The My Passport SSD has been up to date for 2020, enhancing its pace and refreshing the looks of the moveable drive.

Key specs

  • Choices for as much as 2TB in capability
  • 256-bit AES {hardware} encryption
  • USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 prepared
  • USB Kind-C to USB Kind-A converter included
  • As much as 1,050MB/s learn speeds and 1,000MB/s write speeds
  • Drop safety to six.5 ft
  • 3.94 inches by 2.17 inches by 0.35 inches
  • 5-year guarantee

Small stature

The My Passport SSD’s casing is small, measuring simply 0.35 inches thick, 3.94 inches lengthy, and a pair of.17 inches large. It is also pretty gentle with a weight of 45.7 grams (1.6 ounces).

Whereas slightly bigger than the earlier technology and barely thinner, the drive remains to be extraordinarily pocketable and might simply be carried round in a bag.

The 2-tone casing of the earlier model has been switched for a metallic enclosure with a sweeping motif and is obtainable in quite a lot of 5 colours. Whereas the final model was slightly garish, the brand new model is simple however remains to be fashionable in its personal proper.

The metallic casing additionally helps preserve it protected, with its shock and vibration resistance accompanied by drop resistance to a peak of as much as 6.5 ft. This implies the drive will simply take the trials of each day use with out an excessive amount of hassle.

One good design selection is using a separate USB-C cable, which is definitely user-replaceable. This does open up the potential for shedding the cable itself, however it should nonetheless work with any USB Kind-C cable.

What's included with the WD My Passport SSD

In addition to being equipped with a (too quick) USB Kind-C to Kind-C cable, WD features a USB Kind-C to Kind-A adapter within the field. This provides the power out-of-the-box for the drive to work with USB-A 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports at slower speeds.

We’re not keen on this cable, and the rigidity of the cable is not nice. Thankfully, higher alternative cables are low-cost and plentiful.

The drive is listed as supporting USB 3.2 Gen 2 at as much as 10Gb/s. On condition that it’s a USB drive, it’s backward appropriate with the precise cabling.

Capability and efficiency

As a part of the refresh, WD has up to date the kind of storage contained in the drive itself, shifting the road over to higher-speed NVMe. WD claims learn speeds of as much as 1,050MB/s and write speeds of as much as 1,000MB/s on USB-C 3.2 gen 2.

WD presents the drive in three capacities, masking 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, with the 1TB model used for this overview.

We routinely noticed speeds of about 930 megabytes per second write and 910 megabytes per second learn in the true world. With prolonged hammering of the drive pace check, thermal throttling drove speeds all the way down to about 720 megabytes per second learn and write — nonetheless quicker than a single SATA-based SSD can ship.

WD My Passport SSD 1TB speeds

WD My Passport SSD 1TB speeds

When linked to a USB 3.0 kind A port, speeds have been restricted to about 410 megabytes per second for reads, and 400 megabytes per second write. These speeds are about what we anticipated, given the constraints of the port.

Safety and compatibility

Like the sooner model, WD contains 256-bit AES {hardware} encryption within the drive, permitting customers to encrypt the info with a minimal hit to efficiency. The encryption component depends on utilizing the included WD Discovery software program, which may also be used to automate backups, however does require Web activation beforehand.

The WD Discovery for Mac software program is ample, however we aren’t going to delve into it an excessive amount of right here. When encryption is enabled, speeds are restricted to about 700 megabytes per second learn, and 550 megabytes per second write on a 15-inch i9 2018 MacBook Professional or an M1 Mac mini, and a hair much less on a 2016 15-inch MacBook Professional.

Whereas WD has its personal backup software program, Mac customers have higher choices. For starters, not even together with third-party cloning software program, the drive additionally helps macOS’s Time Machine. Nevertheless, it does need to be reformatted beforehand — which most Mac customers typically do anyway, except they’re working cross-platform.

WD states the drive will work proper out of the field with exFAT formatting on each PCs and Macs. On the PC facet, it helps each Home windows 10 and Home windows 8.1, and might accomplish that for different working programs, once more with reformatting.

Small and mighty

For these needing to have exterior storage, you may’t actually go unsuitable with the WD My Passport SSD. Its use of NVMe means it’s quicker than ever earlier than, coupled with the metallic enclosure and built-in {hardware} encryption might help preserve your valuable information secure.

Its small dimension and excessive capability make it a no brainer for MacBook Air and MacBook Professional customers to convey together with them. The drive can be moderately priced for what it supplies and is an effective choice to develop storage — albeit externally — on Macs that may typically have very excessive pricing on further storage internally.

The WD My Passport SSD is a strong, uninspiring exterior USB-C drive, a product that’s available from most electronics producers. Not all the things must be ground-breaking or have record-breaking speeds. Typically you want a $10 hammer to get the job carried out as a substitute of a $120 ergonomic design, custom-tailored to suit your hand.

The WD My Passport SSD is the epitome of the precise software to get the work carried out, with out breaking the financial institution.

  • Compact dimension and light-weight.
  • Separate USB Kind-C cable.
  • Shock and drop resistant.
  • Ample however not nice encryption suite.
  • Quick switch speeds
  • Included cable is kind of quick.
  • Reformatting wanted for Time Machine.

Ranking: 4 out of 5

The place to purchase

The WD My Passport SSD may be purchased from Amazon, with costs routinely beginning at $89 for the 500GB mannequin, $139.99 for the 1TB model, and $239 for the 2TB variant with retail costs of $119, $199, and $379 respectively. It’s obtainable in Grey, Gold, Pink, Silver, and Blue colours.

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