Review: My Passport Edge hard drive complements Mac laptops
By Kean Bartelman
At a Glance
Pre-formatted for Mac and Time Machine compatible
Backwards compatible with USB 2.0
Single USB 3.0 interface only
The My Passport Edge for Mac is the newest member of Western Digital’s portable hard drive family. It’s not wildly different from previous My Passport models, but the Edge does have USB 3.0 connectivity, and has slimmed down to an ultra-thin 4.40 by 0.43 inch enclosure. The My Passport Edge also has many of the features we’ve come to expect from Western Digital’s Mac-centric drives: pre-formatted using HFS+, Time Machine compatibility, WD Security, and WD Drive Utilities. It comes in a 500GB capacity and is backed by WD’s three-year warranty.
The My Passport Edge is a nice little drive that’s designed to complement the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It’s incredibly easy to use right out of the box, and its aluminum enclosure is one of the smallest on the market. In fact, the drive is probably thinner than your wallet, allowing you to easily slide it in your pocket and take your files anywhere you need to go. Western Digital’s Security and Drive Utilities application let you encrypt your data to keep it safe, register your drive, or perform diagnostics.
The only drawbacks to this drive are that it comes in only a 500GB capacity and is outfitted with only a USB 3.0 interface. While the drive is compatible with USB 2.0, many Mac users (especially those with older machines) desire more connectivity options and use FireWire or Thunderbolt when they want the faster transfer speeds. If you’re looking for a comparable drive with more connectivity, you may want to look into Seagate’s Backup Plus () or Buffalo’s MiniStation Thunderbolt (). Both of these drives come with USB 3.0, plus they have the ability to connect via Thunderbolt. However, to connect through Thunderbolt with the Seagate drive, you will have to purchase Seagate’s Go-Flex Thunderbolt adaptor ($99), and the necessary Thunderbolt cable ($50) separately from the drive. The Buffalo drive has both connectors and comes with all of the necessary cables.
When put through our series of lab tests, the My Passport Edge for Mac posted middling scores comparable to the Seagate Backup Plus and a bit faster than the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt. In the AJA System Test, the My Passport Edge posted a write time of 111.4 MBps and a read time of 112.7 MBps. To write/read a 10GB file, the drive recorded transfer speeds of 112.6 MBps and 116.6 MBps respectively. While writing a 10GB folder, the My Passport Edge scored 85.3 MBps, while it read the same folder at 82.2 MBps.
The My Passport Edge for Mac is a great drive for easily storing your files for on-the-go use. It’s thin enough to stick in your pocket as you’re walking out the door to work, and its aluminum enclosure provides a durable exterior so you know your files are safe. It’s not the fastest drive on the market, but it’s fast enough for what its designed for. And since it’s formatted HFS+ and backwards compatible with USB 2.0, it will work right out of the box. However, if you’re an Apple user who’s seeking a drive with more connectivity options, you may care to look elsewhere.