Taking a look at the capacity of the WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 drive we see that in Windows, there is 465 GB available to the user as reported by Windows. This is after formatting the drive and removing the applications and folders that WD shipped with on the drive. The WD software and users guides take up about 1GB of space.
The Western Digital My Passport Essential portable drive first came out in 2008 and not much has changed visually. WD nailed the looks of this drive since it was released and hasn’t made any major cosmetic changes to the design over the years. The one thing that they did change just this year, was updating the interface from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 and that is huge for data transfer speeds. Even though the portable drive is SuperSpeed USB 3.0 it is backwards compatible
with USB 2.0, so you don’t have to worry about it
working on older computers as long as a USB port is present.
For example the WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 drive has sequential read speeds of 37 MB/s and write speeds of 30 MB/s. These speeds are not that bad for a high-speed USB 2.0 interface, but when you plug the external drive into a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port those performance numbers jump up to 93 MB/s read and 92 MB/s write. The write performance of the drive saw a 3x increase and that means your backup or file transfer will complete that much faster and when dealing with a 500GB drive that is tens of minutes shaved off transfer times!
When it comes to pricing the WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 portable external drive can be found for $69.95 w/ free shipping. Not a bad price for a 500GB drive, external USB 3.0 housing, a USB 3.0 cable and the backup software. For those that
like to know price per GB you are looking at $0.14 per GB. If you wanted to buy a WD Scorpio Blue 2.5″ 5400RPM SATA hard drive (WD5000BEVT) you’d spend $62.00 shipped for the bare drive. If you look at it from that perspective you are paying around $10 extra for the housing, cable and backup software. Not a bad deal for a very inexpensive way to backup your critical data!
The only thing I need to point out to our readers is that the high-gloss finish does show some finger prints, so if you are one of those people that despise seeing finger prints run now. A quick wipe with a cloth easily removes them though and on our blue colored My Passport they didn’t really stand out that bad.
The My Passport Essential is backed by a three year warranty in Asia Pacific region and two years in the rest of the world. The warranty starts from the purchase date on your original sales receipt, so be sure to keep that handy and register the drive the day it arrives.
We have no issues with this product and highly recommend it to someone that wants to try out a cost effective way to backup all of your personal data! With increasing amounts of data being stored on laptops and rising laptop thefts in these tough economic times it only makes sense to externally backup your data! Spending ~$70 to protect your marriage photos or the birth of your child is a small investment to make in the long run as recovering data on a failed drive could take months and cost thousands!
Legit Bottom Line: Western Digital brings consumers peace of mind with the My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 portable external drive!