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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Small and portable
Nice build quality
Gets a bit warm
The WD My Passport SSD is a pocketable, lightweight external SSD that offers plenty of storage at a very attractive price point. It’s not the fastest drive out there, but it delivers plenty of bang for the buck.
Western Digital provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for their full take.
Most people will at one point or another find themselves needing to backup or transport a considerable amount of data. For this task, the best option is an external storage drive, and an SSD is the fastest and most portable kind of drive around. For speed and affordability, the WD My Passport SSD is an attractive option that’s remarkably compact, considering how much data it can pack in, but how does it perform in the real world?
The My Passport SSD is shockingly small and lightweight at a mere 1.41 ounces. It’s about the size of a credit card (3.94 x 2.17 x 0.35 inches) and doesn’t weigh much more than one. If not for the fact that it’s a bit too thick it’d almost fit in a wallet.
Its metal casing is reassuringly durable, and this exterior makes the drive feel and look decidedly premium. If silver doesn’t strike your fancy, it’s also available in red, gold, and blue colors. The swooping, grooved design is attractive and has the added bonus of making the device easier to grip securely.
It’s about the size of a credit card and doesn’t weigh much more than one.
The My Passport SSD comes packaged with one very short USB-C cable, plus a USB-C to USB-A adapter, so it’s compatible with most modern devices. It’s available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models. It’s worth noting that there’s no status light to let you know if the drive is functioning or not. This means you might mistakenly unplug it while it's busy (it’s always a good idea to eject storage media properly), but on the plus side it, means one less blinking LED light.
The My Passport is anything but complicated. Just plug it in and you’re ready to go, no waiting or installation process required.
The latest My Passport SSD offers both a visual upgrade from the previous generation, as well as a significant boost in speed. This new SSD is double the speed of its predecessor.
Though the My Passport SSD isn’t a racehorse by SSD standards, it’s five to ten times faster than a comparable hard drive and offers transfer speeds as fast as most modern computers are capable of handling. Its 1050/1000MBps read/write speeds are impressively fast, to the extent that unless you have cutting-edge hardware, the My Passport SSD is more likely to be limited by your PC than vice versa.
In my tests, the My Passport lived up to its advertising, though as expected it is very much limited by the device it’s attached to. That’s fine though because it means you’re getting the most possible out of your system, and the drive will remain relevant into the future. The one downside is the My Passport does run a bit warm to the touch.
Though the My Passport SSD isn’t a racehorse by SSD standards, it’s five to ten times faster than a comparable hard drive.
With a starting price of $120 for the 500GB version and $190 for a terabyte of storage, the My Passport SSD is more expensive than an HDD. However, considering its high speed, durability, and portability, by comparison, the value is definitely there. Higher capacities will set you back up to $680, which seems like a lot to pay, but still offers good value for the money, all things considered.
In my tests, the My Passport lived up to its advertising, though as expected it is very much limited by the device it’s attached to.
If you’re on a really tight budget, speed isn’t a factor, and all you really need is a lot of capacity, then you might want to consider the HDD version of the WD My Passport. It’s less than half the price for a terabyte of storage, but keep in mind that it’s many times slower, much larger, and more delicate.
A fast external SSD that provides great value for money.
There’s a lot to love about the WD My Passport SSD, and though HDDs still offer more capacity for your money, the superior speed, portability, and durability of the SSD make a great argument for ditching the hard disk. Whether you need plenty of capacity to carry with you on your travels or a snappy backup solution at home, the WD My Passport SSD is easy to recommend.
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