3.5 star rating

Western Digital My Passport for Mac Review

Pros: Fast read and write speed; Out-of-box Mac compatibility; Simple attractive design;
Cons: No encryption software;
The Verdict: Featuring an attractive design and good performance, this portable hard drive is a solid solution for Mac fans.



Typically, Mac users are forced to reformat their external hard drives before they can use them to back up data on a MacBook or MacBook Pro. Western Digital removes that hurdle with the MyPassport for Mac ($149), a lightweight, pocketable, USB-powered HDD that features HFS+ Journaled formatting, making the device compatible with Apple notebooks out of the box.

Article Continued Below


Measuring 4.9 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches and weighing just 6.4 ounces, the 500GB Western Digital My Passport for Mac (also available in a 320GB capacity for $129) is thin and light enough to slide into a bag with ease. The unit we tested sports a simple but attractive black and silver design (with the WD logo subtly branded into the lower-right corner) that visually matches the revamped MacBook line. The back of the drive features four rubber feet that help keep it from sliding around on a desk. One of the advantages of this 500GB unit is that you don’t need to plug in an additional power supply.


The Western Digital My Passport for Mac proved to be a fairly strong performer. It was able to read our 4.97GB folder of mixed media in 3 minutes and 48 seconds—a rate of 22.3 MBps, slightly slower than the 22.5 MBps pocket hard drive average, but not as fast as the Toshiba Portable External Drive (26.2 MBps). The drive wrote the same folder in a better-than-average 4 minutes and 15 seconds, or 19.9 MBps, also beating the Toshiba (15.8 MBps) and Hammer (12.5 MBps) drives.

Software and Warranty

As the My Passport for Mac is designed for use with Apple notebooks, it doesn’t feature any backup software; OS X Leopard’s Time Machine utility will automatically backup your photos, music, video, and other data. When we plugged the drive into a Mac via USB, we were prompted to use it for Time Machine backups, and after a few short clicks we were up and running. However, some users may lament the lack of bundled encryption software for locking down folders and files. Western Digital covers the drive with a three-year limited warranty.


Overall, the Western Digital My Passport for Mac is one of the better portable hard drives we’ve tested. For $149, you get a backup solution that offers style, very good write performance, and simple integration with Apple’s Time Machine.

Tags: Western Digital My Passport for Mac, Western Digital, portable hard drives, Storage, backup, reviews, business

Technical Specifications
Western Digital My Passport for Mac

Rotational Speed5,400 rpm
Seek TimeN/A
Read/Write Speed22.3 MBps/19.9 MBps
Size4.9 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches
Weight6.4 ounces
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
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
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