Western Digital Passport (160GB)
- Design and style, powered entirely off USB, no drivers or special software required
- Included USB cable is too short where the USB port is located on the back of the machine
A sturdy construction and stylish design make the Passport a good travel companion.
Price$ 429.00 (AUD)
External hard drives aren't exactly sexy, but you'd never know it by looking at the WD Passport. A glossy black finish gives it an appearance more akin to a desk ornament - while it's particularly prone to fingerprints, it also brings a touch of elegance to an otherwise boring office desk.
Eye candy aside, the Passport is available in 80GB and 160GB denominations, using a relatively speedy 5,400rpm platter. We tested the 160GB version; as far as hard drives of this capacity go, the Passport is a featherweight, gracing the scales at 104.8g. A compact footprint of 129.78mm x 79.78mm x 15mm - about the size of a PDA - also makes it small enough to slip into a back pocket if you're so inclined.
The Passport is powered entirely off USB, with a short cable included in the package. Thankfully this is of the standard mini-USB variety - measuring a scant 50cm, it's long enough to use with a notebook, but inadequate on a PC where the USB port is located on the back of the tower.
No drivers or special software are required to get the Passport and a PC or Mac talking - simply plug it in and you're off. WD Sync is an extra application bundled on the drive for synchronising files, Outlook data and machine-specific settings, making it easier to keep files and information consistent between PCs. It's not quite a backup program, but it offers similar functionality and is arguably more powerful.
Software from Google is also preloaded on the Passport, but unlike WD Sync, these programs don't run directly from the drive - you have to install them separately on each PC you connect it to. Also, these applications are freely available from the Internet, so this offering doesn't add much value to the overall package.
A sturdy construction makes the Passport a good travel companion, with a robust and reassuringly solid enclosure. Pressing down on the casing doesn't produce any worrying creaks, and the USB port is hidden behind a rubber stopper so it doesn't get damaged in transit. Four rubber feet on the unit's underside also prevents it from being knocked off a desk accidentally.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTJava Technical Team LeadVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSecurity Architect - Perth BasedQLD
- FTSenior ICT Project ManagerNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- TPSoftware Licensing SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- CCCRM Techno FunctionalistQLD
- CCTechnical Requirements Architect - NV1ACT
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- CCProject Manager - Knowledge Management Project - TelcoVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - NV1ACT
- CCSystems Specialist - Network Systems l Port MacquarieNSW
- CCIT SAS Visual Analytics DeveloperVIC
- CCOracle DeveloperVIC
- FTCitrix Engineer/Designer - AWS experience essentialNSW
- FTSystem Administrator App-VACT
- CCPlatform Engineer - DevOpsVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSoftware ManagerVIC
- FTHelpdesk SupportNSW
- FTFront-end Developer (UX/UI)NSW
- CCSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- CCSolution Designer with PEGA experience- TelcoVIC