Objects of Desire: Western Digital My Passport Elite

Jan 13, 2010
By Dan Havlik

Objects - My passport

There are lots of portable external hard drives on the market and while many of them are quite good, our favorite has been the Passport line from Western Digital (WD). Small, sleek and straightforward, Passports are the perfect "no-brainer" storage devices for taking your photos and multimedia files on the road.

My Passport Elite from WD adds an illuminated capacity gauge on the spine of the drive to tell you how close to full it is. This is nice feature if you have several of these drives lying and around and want to find out quickly which one has space. There's also an illuminated padlock icon which indicates if the 256-bit hardware-based password protection has been engaged.

The Elite is slightly smaller in size than the previous Passport model and features round, beveled edges so it doesn't get snagged in your bag. A new USB "grab-and-go" dock frees up real estate on your desk while eliminating the hassle of always having to look for an open USB port.

The drives ships with the new WD SmartWare software which is designed to provide a simple visual display to show the user when a backup is in progress. One word of warning for Mac users, you need to reformat the drive before you can start using it.

The My Passport Elite comes in 320 gb, 500 gb, and 640 gb capacities and is available in three colors: red, blue or black.

Cost: $160 (500 gb)

Further information: www.wdc.com

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