WD My Passport Edge for Mac
Western Digital, www.wdc.com
Well-priced; small and light
The WD My Passport Edge for Mac offers bang for your buck, but the lack of Thunderbolt might be a deal-breaker for some Mac users.
Western Digital offers external desktop drives with Thunderbolt connectors but we’re still waiting for Thunderbolt to come to its portable drives. For now you’ll have to be satisfied with USB 3.0, which isn’t available on all Macs.
This WD is the smallest and lightest of the bunch, plus it’s bus-powered so you only need to carry around one cable. The speed boost of USB 3.0 will appeal to PC users, but the ‘for Mac’ tag merely refers to the fact that this drive comes pre- formatted for Mac and includes a Mac application supporting hardware encryption.
Unless that encryption software grabs your fancy, you’d be better off with the Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable and its optional Thunderbolt connector – even if you don’t need Thunderbolt today.
It took about 100 seconds to copy 2GB of data to this WD drive from our USB 2.0 MacBook Air with an internal Solid State Drive, then about 75 seconds to copy it back again.
That’s not too shabby, but you’ll do in it a quarter of the time with the Seagate via Thunderbolt.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
In a straight USB shootout the WD and Seagate are dead even, with the OWC in RAID1 only slightly faster. If you’re jumping between Macs and PCs you’ll appreciate the flexibility and performance of USB 3.0, but it’s hard to
recommend a non-Thunderbolt drive to Mac users.