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Portable hard drives are useful for transferring large files (many gigabytes) between different places.

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device is small and portable, easy to carry around

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uses a standard micro USB cable, easy to find replacements if you ever need one

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no external power supply needed, draws power right from the USB cable

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plastic coating scratches very easily

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included software is cumbersome and unnecessary, can't be uninstalled

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USB connection is touchy, have to make sure nothing touches the cable or it will dismount the drive

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if carried around too much failures can happen within the first 6 months

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  • Only 3 words are allowed.


Portable hard drives are useful for transferring large files (many gigabytes) between different places, such as the office and home. The My Passport Essential by Western Digital competes in the field through higher storage capacity, up to 250GB, and giving an attention to looks with the glossy black finish.

Western Digital claims no software is needed to use the drive for either the Mac or PC, as the drive itself stores all the software you need to transfer the files successfully. WD has also included a set of applications by Google, such as their desktop search, in an aim to make it easier to find particular files out of the many that the drive can store.

Portability is also improved over other hard drives by the fact that the unit is powered entirely by the USB cable, which precludes the need for a second power cable. This reduces the overall size of the unit, and removes the extra cable to carry around, and makes it similar to the more traditional USB thumb drives.

For Windows only the drive contains software that synchronizes and encrypts your data automatically using 128-bit encryption. There are different capacities ranging from 60GB of storage up to 250GB.

WDXMS600 (60GB) - $79.99

WDXMS800 (80GB) - $99.99

WDXMS1200 (120GB) - $119.99

WDXMS1600 (160GB) - $149.99

WDXMS2500 (250GB) - $199.99

Post Review
03/31/2010 07:36

Had this drive fail on me within about 5 months. I sent it back, got a replacement only to have the second one fail on me too, after about 4 months. Unfortunately the second one could not be sent back because the shorter, 3 month warranty had already expired.

I wouldn't recommend this if you travel with it a lot - I suspect the everyday bumps from carrying it around in my bag led it to an early demise. Twice.

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