3.0 star rating

Western Digital My Passport Elite Review

$169.00
Pros: Compatible with Mac OS X Windows 2000 XP Vista; Attractive design; MioNet and Google Desktop software; Long five-year limited warranty;
Cons: Windows-only encryption software; Slow write speed;
The Verdict: This attractive portable hard drive isn’t the fastest on the block, but it packs plenty of storage and security.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

When traveling abroad, your passport is one thing you can never leave home without. Western Digital hopes its My Passport Elite will be just as indispensable during your journeys. This sturdy external hard drive won’t identify you to the authorities, but it will provide security for your files and functionality that you wouldn’t normally expect from a typical portable storage device.

Article Continued Below

Passport Elite Design

Measuring 5.0 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches and weighing 6.4 ounces, the Passport Elite sports a soft-touch finish, which adds some sophistication over your typical external hard drive, as well as a sliding door that protects the USB port when the My Passport Elite isn’t in use. The external drive comes in either a 250GB ($169) or 320GB ($199) capacity and a variety of colors (Gray, Bronze, Cherry, and Westminster Blue), so you can choose one that best suits your style.

Easy Backup, Shutterfly Connectivity

Backing up data is a snap. We simply plugged the drive into a notebook (we tested it successfully on both Mac OS X– and Windows-based systems), completed a brief three-step setup, and the My Passport Elite began an initial backup; the drive took about one hour to duplicate all of the content (37GB) on our MacBook. We also liked that we could select where to place recovered files: desktop, folder, or original location. One of the coolest features of the My Passport Elite is its ability to automatically back up photos to Shutterfly. Subjecting relatives to endless vacation shots has never been easier.

Sweet Windows-Only Features

Windows 2000, XP, and Vista users are treated to several Windows-exclusive features such as WD Sync, MioNet remote access, and a number of Google tools. With WD Sync, we were able to synchronize Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Office, media files, browser favorites (Firefox and Internet Explorer), and even desktop wallpapers when we plugged the drive into another PC. MioNet let us plug the drive into a notebook and use the software to access the content of another PC also running the MioNet software remotely. With Google Desktop, we were able to scour our local desktop for files. In addition, the Passport Elite features 128-bit AES encryption.

Uneven Performance

The Passport Elite’s performance was mixed. We were able to transfer 2GB of photos, music, and documents to the drive in 3 minutes and 1 second, at a rate of 11.3 MBps. That’s significantly slower than the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive’s  19.3 MBps. However, when we ran an HD Tach test (software that measures read speeds), the Passport Elite read speed of 55.6 MBps, which trumped the Iomega drive by a whopping 24.1 MBps.

Verdict

All in all, the Western Digital My Passport Elite (which the company backs with a five-year limited warranty) is a solid portable hard drive for road warriors who frequently tote sensitive data, as well as consumers who like their gear to sport a dash of style. The write speed may be a little too slow for those who wish to transfer or backup large quantities of data at once, but the more advanced Windows features make this device a compelling travel companion.

Tags: Western Digital My Passport Elite, Western Digital, portable hard drives, Storage, business, reviews

Technical Specifications
Western Digital My Passport Elite
http://www.westerndigital.com


Capacity250GB, 320GB
Rotational Speed5,400 rpm
Read/Write Speed55.6 MBps/11.3 MBps
PortsUSB
Size5.0 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches
Weight6.4 ounces
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE