Western Digital My Passport Essential SE (1TB) external hard drive
Western Digital delivers 1TB of storage and good security in a portable package
- Tiny, 256-bit hardware encryption, simple to configure and use
- Sluggish write speeds, backup software limitations
The My Passport Essential SE is Western Digital's largest capacity portable hard drive yet, and it offers encryption to keep your data secure.
Price$ 379.00 (AUD)
Western Digital’s My Passport Essential SE is currently the only portable external hard drive to boast a whopping 1TB of storage space. Despite this, it is one of the smallest hard drives around and it is quite speedy, too.
For the My Passport Essential SE, Western Digital bypassed the standard SATA II circuitry and built a USB connection directly into the 2.5in internal hard drive, making it shorter than other external hard drives. Unfortunately, the company chose to integrate a micro-USB connection instead of the more common mini-USB port found on external hard drives and digital cameras. While the connection is supposed to be more durable, the cable is also harder to replace if lost.
The My Passport Essential SE has four 250GB platters, making the drive slightly fatter than its 320GB and 500GB counterparts. It's still extremely portable and light, however.
The My Passport Essential SE incorporates 256-bit AES hardware encryption, but lacks any form of password recovery.
WD's SmartWare software.
The bundled WD SmartWare software automatically launches the first time the My Passport Essential SE is connected, and categorises data on both your PC and the drive based on file extensions. From here, you can choose which types of files to back up. However, unlike the HP SimpleSave Portable external hard drive, the My Passport Essential SE does not allow you to set your own custom extensions. This means obscure media formats, for example, will simply be listed as "other". WD SmartWare supports sequential backups for up to 25 versions of the same file.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital My Passport Essential SE||$379||1TB||26.7||11.7||7.6|
|LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive||$139||320GB||24.5||17.1||11.1|
|Astone ISO GEAR 290||$149||500GB||20.5||13.5||9.7|
|HP SimpleSave Portable||$139||320GB||20.4||12.6||8.2|
|Transcend StoreJet 25M-R||$159.95||320GB||23.8||15.3||7.2|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||23.4||15||10.7|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital My Passport Essential SE||$379||1TB||31.4||24.8||11.2|
|LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive||$139||320GB||27.4||25.9||12.7|
|Astone ISO GEAR 290||$149||500GB||28.7||25.2||11.5|
|HP SimpleSave Portable||$139||320GB||27.9||25.1||11.6|
|Transcend StoreJet 25M-R||$159.95||320GB||28.5||24.3||11.9|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||26.7||25.1||12.7|
When compared to other portable external hard drives, the Western Digital My Passport SE seems a little sluggish when writing small files. However, it offers very fast read speeds with both big and small files.
The huge storage capacity, strong security, and ease of use make the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE external hard drive a great choice for those who need to take their work with them.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCProgram Business Change Director - HR PayrollNSW
- CCTest ManagerNSW
- FTProject Manager - Process Transformation / AutomationNSW
- FTSecurity AdministratorVIC
- CCiOS Developer - 6 Month ContractNSW
- FTProject Manager (Network Roll-Out)WA
- CCWindows Systems Engineer - AD, VMware, RedHat experienceNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - Reporting, Excel and AutoCAD experienceNSW
- CCSecurity Architect Finance Contract Sydney CBDNSW
- CCSEM / PPC / Paid Search Specialist - 6 Month Contract RoleNSW
- CCLead Enterprise Solution Architect - CloudNSW
- CCSecurity Consultant (Perth CBD based)SA
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterQLD
- CCService Desk/Helpdesk ConsultantNSW
- CCService Desk/Helpdesk ConsultantNSW
- CCNetwork Solution Designer/Architect - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCAgile Iteration ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTSolution Architect with end user (EUC) computing experienceNSW
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperVIC
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSecurity EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Organisational Change ManagerNSW
- FTMiddleware Specialist / Systems AdministrationNSW