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Supplier: Western Digital
Price: $60 from newegg.comReviewed: Sep 24, 2007

WD Passport - 60GB External Drive
Author: faceless105 -- Posted: 2007-09-24
One thing that I've talked about time and time again is the conveniences of portable storage. It's fairly hard to find any disadvantages to it in all honesty. One piece of hardware that I've just recently adopted into my regular line up is the Western Digital Passport 60 GB external hard drive.

Now while this is by name a hard drive enclosure I suspect that it doesn't house your traditional 2.5 inch hard drive at all. First there is no visible opening to it to swap the drives. Next like all HD enclosures I've seen they use two USB plugs to power and run the unit while this one uses only one. The final reason I have to believe this is it doesn't seem to really generate heat nearly at a level that I'd suspect it to.

With that said I've still be very happy with the unit. I've talked many times of the advantages to having one of these. There is always convenience, as well as security and data protection. There is also a huge advantage in cost comparison. While this unit costs around only $60, which comes out to $1 per gig, you will commonly find 2 gig thumb drives for over $20, which is over ten times more per gig.

The size is very convenient. It is a bit smaller then the iPhone so you know carrying it around with you isn't a problem at all. I usually always just slip mine into my pocket. It's also extremely slim which is another great reason you won't have to worry about it being annoying to carry around with you.

For performance this drive is completely silent. It doesn't seem to really generate any heat at all which is part of why I suspect instead of a traditional hard drive being enclosed, I suspect something more along the lines of some type of flash memory (though I've read that it is a real HD in there running at 5400 RPM). Write speeds don't seem to be a problem either. Now we all know that I like to be thorough so just saying that the write speeds are nice doesn't really mean a whole lot unless I do some benchmarking :)

*click the image for a larger easier to read version

As you can see, compared to a thumb drive you will easily get around twice the speed. This is about 10 mb/s faster then the traditional drive enclosures as well. So this one is definitely a cut above the rest.

Now before I start to wrap this up I just want to comment on the style. We've covered the performance and as far as I can see you really can't go wrong with a device like this. Like I've said many times before though, I love for my hardware to look as good as it runs and this one hasn't disappointed. The enclosure is a nice shiny black with a matt area for the Western Digital logo. This also makes the single blue light up power ring stand out all the more.

My final thoughts on the device... The only con I saw with this product was that they only give you a 6 inch USB cable. This hasn't been a problem for me as I have open USB ports near the top of my computer and can rest the unit on the case, but I can see where this would be a large problem to anyone else. An easy alternative would be to spend $2 for a longer cable. Now with that said I find that the convenience of these drives far outweighs the cons. The drive also comes with software but I'll admit, I haven't even bothered try it out as I'm already more then happy with its functionality. The software though really does fit the types of uses as it has two primary apps, one for synchronization and one for encryption. You wont have to worry about losing any of your data with this guy :)

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