|Name||External hard drive: Western Digital My Passport 2TB|
|At a glance:||Big 2TB capacity in a compact size,Excellent performance thanks to USB 3.0,Good software, but price is high|
|Summary:||This Tardis-like portable drive performs well, but at a steep price.|
Western Digital’s pint-sized My Passport external hard drive is a neatly designed unit that packs plenty of storage capacity – 2TB nominally, 1.81TB formatted as NTFS – into a case not much bigger than a mobile phone.
No power adapter is required: the drive derives both power and connectivity from its USB 3.0 connection. Combined with its small size, this simplicity makes it a truly portable device.
WD’s solid software offering includes diagnostic tools, a real-time back-up utility and, crucially, the ability to encrypt the drive. It’s all easy to use, and WD has thoughtfully included both Windows and Mac OS X versions of the software.
My Passport’s large capacity is comple-mented by its performance over USB 3.0, with 80-90Mbyte/s sustained writes, and 105-110Mbyte/s reads on Windows 7 x64. Better yet, enabling encryption on the drive didn’t hurt My Passport’s performance.
The drive is also very quiet in operation and produces negligible vibration. There is one thing to watch out for: My Passport doesn’t like secondary, front panel USB 3.0 ports. Connected to one of these made Windows 7 think files on the drive were corrupted. Plugging the drive into a primary port at the rear of the PC made the problem go away.
Unfortunately, like other 2.5in external drives, portability is pricey. At $350 retail price, My Passport is more than twice as expensive as bigger, external drives of equivalent capacity so you need to decide if the small size is worth the premium.