External storage drives have gotten smaller and faster since they switched to Solid State Drives. Western Digital (WD), a big name in the external hard drive space, has launched a new line of portable SSD drives which they've named as My Passport SSD.
Available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB sizes, the WD My Passport SSD is a super-svelte external SSD and, as one would expect, a bit on the expensive side. My emphasis is on the design because it isn't every day that you see an external SSD that fits into the palm of your hand easily. However, the size isn't the only feature that matters when you think of investing in an external drive.
It isn't every day that you see an external SSD that fits into the palm of your hand
At the end of the day, what matters the most is the speed and performance of the SSD and how streamlined is the operation. On top of that, most of the consumers would want to know whether the device is a good value-for-money proposition.
We tested out the WD My Passport SSD 256 GB variant for some days, so let's see how well (or badly) it performs.
The WD My Passport SSD looks like a mini chocolate bar. It has a dual tone finish where a half of it is covered in black plastic while the other half dons a gunmetal look. Certainly interesting.
The My Passport SSD is around 3.5 inches long and around 1.5 inches wide, almost similar to Samsung's T3 SSD. This makes it easy to slip into pockets and bags. What's more, it weighs a mere 40 gram thus making it easy to carry it around. The drive feels solid and its surface is smooth, except for the metal part which is ribbed.
The drive comes with a USB Type-C (USB 3.1) connector which is capable of reaching speeds up to 10Gbps. However, the speed solely depends on the connected device.
Interestingly, it also comes with a USB Type C-to-A adapter, thus eliminating the need for extra cables which, if you ask me, is pretty handy.
However, the converter is small (with no connectors) and may get lost if you're not being careful.
Moving on, the WD SSD doesn't need any power supply since it's bus-powered. This makes it convenient since all you need to do is plug and play, whether it's your Android TV or your phone.
Interestingly, the WD My Passport SSD doesn't have any LED indicators. So, if you're someone like me who's a bit cautious while plugging and removing drives from PC, you may have to up your guesswork game.
At the end of the day, while the drive has been given a trendy dual tone look and the ubiquitous USB Type-C connection, it's not invincible. Though it's shock resistant, it's isn't water resistant or waterproof.
Cool Fact: The look of the My Passport SSD was conceived to symbolize the coming together of our physical and digital lives.
Performance & Benchmark Scores
In our time with the My Passport SSD, we used it on Android TV, phone and PC (Windows) and even on the Xbox One. In everyday scenarios, we didn't encounter any issues nor did we see any lag. Now talking about specifics, the 4K content played from the device (using the USB 3.0 connection) went like clockwork. Unlike normal USB thumb drives, there were no lags from the WD SSD.
Also, games such as Far Cry 5 and PUBG ran smoothly with no noticeable lags or change in load times.
Other than that, moving a cluster of data about 7GB (3,000+ files) took around three minutes.
When it comes to benchmarks, we ran the CrystalDiskMark and the Atto benchmark software and the WD My Passport SSD (256GB) clocked the following scores.
Unlike Samsung, WD's My Passport SSD comes pre-formatted with a number of in-house software such as WD Security, WD Backup (Windows only), and WD Discovery & Drive Utilities. We didn't get a chance to test these but depending on your preferences, you could give these a shot or use third-party sync tool (or just copy-paste data manually, that always works).
Yay or Nay?
To cut to the chase, I can say that the WD My Passport SSD functioned smoothly and at no point in time did I find myself lamenting over speed or any other issue.
Given its compact size and weight, and the fact that it's comparatively faster than a traditional hard drive, it fits the description of an ideal external SSD to a T.
The only point of concern is the price. Though in the US, the price has almost halved (from $204 to $99 for the 256GB variant), in India the product is a bit expensive at Rs. 9000+ for the 256GB variant. Still a good buy though, considering the general pricing of external SSD drives.