Western Digital unveils new 320GB portable drive

My Passport Essential offers Vista support and adds embedded Google search tools

Western Digital Wednesday launched the My Passport Essential portable storage hard drive product line, which it said includes support for Microsoft Vista and embedded search capabilities.

The company said that the drive offers full compatibility with Vista, Exchange 2007 and Office 2007, allowing simple transfers of business and personal data over from Windows PCs to My Passport Essential.

The 320GB disk drives are currently available for US$199.99, said Western Digital. The My Passport Essential hard drive family also includes 160GB and 250GB models, the company added.

The new hard drive line will eventually replace the company's WD Passport drives, a spokesman said. He declined to elaborate further on the plans for the older line, except to say that it will coexist with the new drive "for months."

Weighing less than 5 oz., My Passport Essential draws its power from a PC USB port, which eliminates the need for a separate power adapter. The drive runs enhanced Windows-based synchronization and encryption software, enabling data to be transferred between home and work locations on PCs running Windows 2000, XP and Vista, as well as Mac OS X.

The new drive's Sync software includes embedded Google tools, such as Google Desktop Search, which can quickly locate files on external hardware; the Picasa photo organizer to manage stored photos; and the Google TaskBar for simplified Web searches, said officials of Lake Forest, California-based Western Digital.

Data stored on Western Digital's new line of personal storage hardware is protected by 128-bit encryption, which can help blunt IT fears that increasing use of portable devices increases the risk that they -- and the data they carry -- will be lost or stolen.

The new drive family was designed to complement Western Digital's My Book family of external drives by featuring a sleeker "book-shaped" enclosure, the company said. My Passport Essential can hold up to 91,400 digital photos, 80,000 songs, 140 hours of DVD video or 38 hours of high-definition video, it said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Fonseca

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?