Review: Western Digital My Passport for Mac 500GB

Chris Holt
11 February, 2009
View more articles fromthe author

Western Digital’s My Passport For Mac is a solid, compact, comparatively speedy little USB-only portable hard drive that also happens to be Time Machine–ready and designed for the Mac. With a 500GB capacity, a three-year warranty, and a shock-resistant shell that can withstand your average wear and tear, the My Passport is one of the best portable drives we’ve seen for the Mac.

The My Passport is a simple, light drive. I put it through our series of handling tests, which include tossing the drive around my cubicle and dropping it to the ground several times to see how it handles the punishment. But for all the abuse, the drive didn’t slow down a bit and showed little wear.

The drive gets a bit hot as the fanless aluminium case works to draw heat away from the drive mechanism, but the upside is that the drive ran quietly throughout our tests.

Like many USB-only drives, on older laptops the My Passport may not be able to draw sufficient power to operate from the bus alone, and so an auxiliary cable may be necessary.

In our performance tests, the My Passport had surprisingly fast times for a USB-only drive. The 1GB copy test took 50 seconds, which is about 2 seconds faster than most competing drives. The duplication test finished in 1 minute and 14 seconds, putting it on par with our top USB performer, Buffalo’s MiniStation. The low-memory Photoshop test took only 1 minute and 35 seconds, again placing the My Passport among the fastest USB-only drives we’ve tested.

While the My Passport can’t compete with the higher 1TB or 2TB capacities of desktop drives, the 500GB capacity is on the bigger side for a portable drive. Unless you require high-end capacities for professional video and audio recordings, the My Passport should have plenty of space to meet your consumer needs. At $279.95, the 500GB My Passport has an impressive price per gigabyte of $0.56.

Product My Passport for Mac 500GB
Rating 4 Pros Compact; bus powered; inexpensive.
Cons USB-only.
Company Western Digital
Price as rated $279.95
OS compatibility 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard)

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us