WD My Passport Slim, a New Ultra-Portable 2TB Drive: Hands-On Report

by on September 5, 2013

in Gear

WD My Passport Slim

Western Digital has released its new My Passport Slim line of portable hard drives, which offer capacities in 1TB or 2TB flavors and a USB 3.0 interface. The My Passport Slim features an aluminum enclosure and 256-bit hardware-based encryption.

The included WD SmartWare Pro data protection software allows (Windows) users to back up their data to their My Passport Slim and keep an extra copy in their Dropbox account. The software also lets users back up their Dropbox account to the My Passport Slim.

The drive ships formatted for NTFS for Windows PCs; however, it can be reformatted for Mac easily. There are even Mac drive utilities on the drive, which you can install prior to reformatting the unit in case you want to take advantage of the security features on the drive to prevent others from gaining access to your files.

The SmartWare software isn’t available for Mac users; however, if you are using this drive for backups, you are going to choose Time Machine over WD’s options anyway.

My Passport Slim

For such a compact spinning drive, the read/write speeds are solid thanks to the USB 3.0 interface. I tested the 1TB version on a MacBook and consistently got read/write speeds in the 110MB/s range.

WD My Passport Slim Speed Test

WD My Passport Slim Speed Test

As a testament to benefits of USB 3.0 on current computers, I tested the My Passport Slim on a USB 2.0 connection and was met with 30-35MB/s read/write speeds. Moreover, the best I managed to get out of FireWire 800 drives that I’ve tested over the years is in the 80-90MB/s range.¬†USB 3.0 is definitely a welcomed addition in new external hard drives these days.

The My Passport Slim is easily the smallest 1TB external drive I have every used. You would have no trouble putting this thing in just about any pocket, let alone a camera bag.

The My Passport Slim 1TB version retails for $99.99, while the 2TB version retails for $149.99. Both units are covered by a 3-year warranty. The My Passport Slim should be available soon at wdstore.com.

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{ 5 comments }

1 Dan September 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

Any word on if it is a 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm drive? I need another slim USB 3 drive but I need to work off of it so it probably needs to be 7200 rpm. Toro makes the one I have now that is a 7200rpm usb 3.0 slim drive and they make it up to 1TB

2 Eric Reagan September 5, 2013 at 9:58 am

I don’t know, but I suspect both variants are 5400RPM. Of course, I’ve worked of much slower FW800 drives for years (the limitation being the interface, not the drive speed).

3 Emmanuel September 6, 2013 at 5:01 am

I wouldn’t recommand you those hard drives because the major problem with the passports series is the connector. When it is dysfunctional, you can’t even use it in another case ! Western Digital had this great idea to change the inside connector for a homemade solution. So even if the hard drive is working itself (mechanically speaking), because of its connector, you won’t be able to use it anymore (that is surely the reason why they’re so affordable). Really smart WD !
Just FYI, I didn’t test this new ones but be sure, I won’t be fooled again. :-/

4 Nico Balzar October 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

Dear Sir,
The My Passport slim extern Harddisk WD. is also use for a 2 USB connection?,
or a for USB feedconnection.
Please info me by E-mail.
Thanks and regards Nico Balzar.

5 Eric Reagan October 20, 2013 at 10:08 pm

USB 3 is backwards compatible with USB 2 connections. It just won’t be as fast as native USB 3 connections.

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