The WD product portfolio has been missing a portable Solid-State Drive (SSD) for some time now, but that all changed recently with the introduction of the WD My Passport SSD that is only available at Best Buy. The WD My Passport keeps the same familiar look of the hard drive based My Passport line, but is smaller ends up being smaller thanks to the SSD storage technology inside that has no moving parts. The My Passport SSD is available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities that have blazing-fast speeds of up to 515MB/s in perfect lab conditions. WD is targeting content creators and enthusiasts with this tiny drive (10mm x 90mm x 45mm) that likely holds an M.2 SATA III SSD inside. When it comes to pricing you are looking at $399.99/1TB, $199.99/512GB and $99.99/256GB USD, respectively. That means you are looking at around $0.39 per GB.
The image above shows the WD My Passport SSD 1TB next to the WD My Passport (2016 model) 1TB. The new My Passport SSD uses a the smaller USB Type-C connector and is USB 3.1 Gen-2 ready, and USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and USB-A compatible. The drives plastic housing features a black top with a metallic bottom and while it looks good, it shows fingerprints really bad and was found to be super hard to keep clean.
The My Passport SSD can also be protected with built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption if one wants to enable it with the optional software and the drive is backed by a three year warranty.
WD recognizes that not everyone has a PC with a USB Type-C port, so they include a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box to go along with the USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable.
The included USB Type-C to Type-A adapter oddly only fits one way despite the USB Type-C interface being reversible. We found this to be an annoyance as did finding a place to store the adapter when it wasn’t in use. This is something that is easily lost, so if you lose Flash drive caps you’ll be misplacing this adapter.
Here is the official WD My Passport SSD product introduction video for those want to watch a quick video.
The model we’ll be looking at for this review is the WD My Passport SSD 1TB that is sold under part number WDBK3E0010PSL.
When you first connect the WD My Passport SSD to a PC you’ll see that there is a application called WD Discovery that can be installed. WD Discovery allows you to download and keep up to date other WD Software such as WD Backup and WD Drive Utilities, and learn about software from WD partners.
If you setup the WD Backup Software Application you can automatically backup photos, videos, music and documents. You can adjust how often it backs up (hourly, daily, monthly) and to where it backs up. You can use this utility to backup to the My Passport SSD or to the Dropbox cloud service. This software won’t clone your entire drive, but it will capture the basic Windows folders as well as ones that you set to manually include. Once you have actually saved files you can use the restore function to move the files back to the original locations. You can find out more information about this on the WD Discovery Online user manual as well as the 35-page My Passport SSD user manual that can be found here. We are just giving you a quick overview of the key features and then going to take a look at the drives performance.
It should be noted that we tested the WD My Passport SSD 1TB with firmware X4161100 and that was the latest available when we did our testing. We did find it odd that the WD My Passport SSD 1TB drive shows up as being a SanDisk SD8TN8U1T002000 in CrystalDiskMark, but one needs to keep in mind that WD acquired SanDisk in 2016. It looks like WD might be using a Sandisk X400 SSD with TLC NAND Flash memory inside the WD My Passport SSD, but they won’t confirm that guess and we couldn’t get our enclosure open without breaking it.
Fresh out of the box the My Passport SSD comes pre-formatted for exFAT and is ready for use on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 systems along with Apple machines. You can format the drive for NTFS if one would prefer that format and you might as you’ll need to use that format for the TRIM command to work. This is one of the very few external SSDs on the market that has enabled TRIM support, so that is great news for someone looking for a portable OS drive.
Let’s take a look at some performance tests that we performed on Intel X99 powered desktop PC and wrap this up!