Friday, February 25, 2011

WD My Passport Essential USB 3.0 Review

Western Digital My Passport Essential USB 3.0 1TB Review

My Old Seagate portable harddisk 250GB failed after 2 years. Although I used it to backup data, I still had a lot of photos and videos which I accumulated over the years on the hard disk.

Anyway, as I have my important data online and on DVDs as well, nothing essential was lost.

I bought a WD My Passport Essential USB 3.0 1TB, and I'm testing it out.

Product Features and Technical Details

Capacity: 1 TB | Color: Black

Product Features

  • Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Connectivity today; speed for tomorrow
  • Up to 3x faster transfer rates with USB 3.0
  • Maximum capacity
  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Hardware encryption, password protection

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Western Digital
  • Model: WDBACX0010BBK-NESN
  • Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
  • Warranty: 2 years warranty
  • Hardware Platform: PC, Mac
  • Hard Disk Description: External hard drive
  • Hard Disk Interface: ATA100
  • Width: 4.3 inches
  • Depth: 3.3 inches
  • Height: 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 7.1 Ounces

Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface- A single drive with universal compatibility today and next-generation speed for tomorrow. Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.

Up to 3x faster transfer rates - When connected to a USB 3.0 port this drive lets you access and save files up to 3 times faster than USB 2.0.

USB-powered - Powered directly from the USB port on your PC. No separate power supply is needed.

Formatted NTFS
Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, Windows 7
Mac OS® X Leopard®, Snow Leopard™ (requires reformatting and will work in USB 2.- mode)


The looks:
It looks rather small and ok I guess. The little white light on the side looks pretty cool, but otherwise kinda plain. It feels rather plastic and cheap.

The Experience:
Initially, when I plugged it into my Windows XP (SP3) the WD My Passport Essential USB 3.0 tries to search for drivers, and it does get a little annoy as it is not usable out of the box.

The instructions on the box and the booklet provided is worthless, but luckily it did something online, and within 10 minutes, it was automatically connected to my computer.

Once connected, I tried to dump 50 GB of things I would like to backup on the drive. Initially the "time remaining" was 1 hour, but it shortly reduced to about 40 mins.

I recalled using USB 2.0 in the past, and backing up the same data would take about 2 hours. This USB 3.0 is indeed a significant improvement.

I connected it to a MAC, and it was as slow as my USB 2.0 device.

The Price:
I bought it at about US$100, went to several stores in Singapore and found that Challenger has a pretty ok price for members, but to be a member, it costs $30. This is simply a very stupid decision for Challenger to force people to join an expensive membership. Everything in the store is overpriced too.

I found it at another store for US$100 too, and I did not need to be a member.

Very small in size.
Relatively Cheap compared to other brands.
High Speed USB 3.0 Data Transfer.
No power required, powered by USB
Cables provided!

Plastic built
Needs some form of installation online.
Needs reformat for MAC

Verdict: 8.5/10

-- Robin Low

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