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The WD Passport is availablein five different colors, including metallic red.
For 10 minutes now, we’re been trying to find a way to kick off this hard drive review so that you’ll be riveted and want to read it to the end. After all, we’re talking hard drives here. Most people just think of a hard drive as a metal box full of whiz-bang that somehow, someway, stores your data—you don’t care how it does it, just that it actually does it. If you think that way, that’s OK. Some of us actually care about data throughput speed, and other geeky measurements. Others don’t.
Because so many people could care less about speed, storage companies try to make their hard drives look stylish, like the Passport. Looking more like a bar of precious metal than a storage device, the drive is available in glossy black, glossy white, metallic red, vibrant green, and metallic pink. It’s made for carrying around with you in your backpack, notebook bag, or maybe even a cargo pants pocket, so it might as well look good.
The drive uses a USB connection and draws power from that connection, so you don’t need to carry a power supply. Just plug in the cable between your Mac and the Passport, and it appears on your Desktop. Don’t even bother with the software Western Digital includes on the WD Passport—it’s Windows only.
Now for the geeky part: speed. Using the free Xbench benchmark software (www.xbench.com), the 160GB WD Passport ($139.99) posted a read speed of 26MB per second and a write speed of 35MB per second. Impressive, considering that Western Digital’s My Book Studio (4 out of 5 stars, Feb/08, p73) had a read speed of 24MB per second and a write speed of 18MB per second.
The bottom line. When you need more storage space than a thumb drive can provide, give the WD Passport a try.
COMPANY: Western Digital
PRICE: $89.99 (60GB) to $229.99 (320GB)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.1.5 or later, USB
Bus powered. Nice design.
Connects only via USB. Bundled software is Windows only..