WD My Passport Slim hard drive (1TB)

One of the smallest portable hard drives on the market now comes with a 1TB capacity

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Western Digital My Passport Slim
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Slim and easy to carry
  • Ships with useful backup software and utilities

Cons

  • It's a hard drive, so you'll have to be careful with it and treat it right

Bottom Line

WD's My Passport Slim is a highly mobile drive that packs a large capacity of 1TB. It's a single-cable drive that runs at USB 3.0 speed and it performed well during our tests. It's worth picking up if you're after 1TB that can fit in your pocket.

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WD’s My Passport Slim is one of the first pocketable drives on the market to pack a capacity of 1TB. Previously, the My Passport range with the ‘Slim’ designation topped out at 500GB, and Seagate’s competing ‘Slim’ is still sitting at that lower capacity (at the time of writing).

The 1TB capacity (which is actually 931GB under the Windows format) resides in a case that’s only 13mm thick, 110mm long and 81mm wide. It’s the smallest 1TB drive portable drive we’ve reviewed to date, and can be transported easily in a pocket during times you don’t want to carry around a bag. It’s a simple drives in terms of design, with clean, rounded lines, and its enclosure feels strong (it's metal), though it can be easily scuffed if you just chuck it in your backpack with other gear.

Only one cable is required for operation. There is a USB 3.0 port on the end of the drive, and it ships with a cable that’s 40cm long (not including the plugs on each end). You won’t want to lose this cable because you probably won’t have another cable in your home that can act as a replacement (and you might have to fork out around $10 for a new one).

WD ships the drive with a backup program called WD SmartWare, which can keep a copy of your system files, as well as common file types (using ‘Category’ backup) and custom folders. It’s simple to use and can be set to run continuously, which will update files as they are changed, or on a schedule. The other thing is that the software can be used to schedule backups to your Dropbox account, too, which will work best for documents and photos, rather than music, video, and system files. File retrieval can be made to the original folders, or to a folder that you specify.

It’s possible to encrypt the drive as well; it supports 256-it AES encryption, and this can be enabled through the WD Security applications. It puts a password on the drive that can’t be recovered if you ever lose it. You can enter the password for the drive on any Windows computer (it won't work on a Chromebook, for example), even if it doesn’t have the WD Security software installed, and you can also set it so that it remembers the computer and user of a particular computer, so that you won’t have to continually enter the password.

As far as performance is concerned, the drive put up zippy results in CrystalDiskMark, recording sequential rates of 118.7 megabytes per second (MBps) and 118.1MBps for reading and writing, respectively. High density drives are always very quick initially, so it might become noticeably slower once it’s full of data and more seeking is required.

When transferring data from the hard drive to a brand new laptop with a 1TB hard drive, the transfer rate hovered between 90MBps and 100MBps. Writing to the Slim drive from the laptop produced an expectedly lower rate between 40MBps and 50Mbps.

Basically, we had no issues with the performance of this drive during our tests and when transferring data to and from our computers. It worked well, it was quiet, it didn’t get overly warm, and it put out minimal vibration when we held it. If you're after a small drive with a big capacity, it's a must-buy. There is a 2TB version of the Slim available, too, though it's 5mm thicker (18mm overall).

The 1TB version is just 13mm thick.
The 1TB version is just 13mm thick.

The cost per formatted gigabyte comes to 15 cents in Australia (AU$140), and 18 cents in New Zealand (NZ$170).

Screenshots of the bundled software

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Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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