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WD My Passport Anniversary Edition

_DSC1240-EditIt’s the 10th anniversary of Western Digital’s popular line of My Passport portable external hard drives. Western Digital is commemorating this milestone with the launch of the My Passport Ultra Anniversary Edition (featured here) and Metal Edition. I know it’s just the look, but they really look gorgeous. This could be good enough reasons for people to go out buy the new drives, particularly the limited anniversary edition!

I’ve reviewed the My Passport Ultra previously. The new Anniversary Edition is mostly the same drive. Except, of course, it looks a whole lot more premium. The bottom is still made of black plastic, but apart from that, the Anniversary Edition has a new aluminium design. Matt on the sides, and shiny on the top. The shiny champagne on the top glitters!

If that’s not enough, the enclosure top incorporates a unique and innovative radial-spin texture. It’s subtle, but you can feel. Not only does that add to the styling, the design also provides extra protection against everyday knocks.

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Of course, this isn’t truly a brand new drive. It’s still the My Passport Ultra. As a result of the different enclosure types, the Anniversary Edition is slightly more compact, particularly in terms of thickness. The metal does make it just slightly heavier though.

My Passport Ultra
Anniversary Edition
My Passport Ultra
1TB 2TB 1TB 2TB
Height (inch) 0.53 0.74 0.606 0.823
Depth (inch) 4.33 4.33 4.35 4.35
Width (inch) 3.15 3.15 3.23 3.23
Weight (pounds) 0.36 0.53 0.34 0.50

Not unexpectedly, benchmark results of the Anniversary Edition is similar to the regular edition. Since my last review of the My Passport Ultra, I’ve started to use Bonnie++, so allow me to put the benchmarks figures here, compared with other recent tests I have done.

Western Digital My Passport Ultra Anniversary Edition 2TB Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Hitachi Touro Mobile 1TB
Sequential Write (MB/s) 102 108 112 59
Sequential Rewrite (MB/s) 45 47 54 22
Sequential Read (MB/s) 106 110 114 68
Random Seeks per second 130 128 159 89

I want to recap some of the highlights of the My Passport Ultra, in general, that still do apply to the Anniversary Edition. In particular, there is built-in hardware encryption, which incidentally works out-of-the-box with OS X. This is really the easiest way to prevent unauthorised access to your content in the event you lose your portable drive.

For Windows users, there is WD SmartWare Pro which includes Dropbox integration, allowing users to backup content to the drive, and then from the drive to the cloud.

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The Metal Edition is pretty much identical to the Anniversary Edition, except in colour. Metal Edition is available in navy and silver colours, and you can buy them online from the WD Store and at select retailers and distributors.

The Anniversary Edition is available exclusively at Challenger Stores in Singapore.

The My Passport Ultra Anniversary Edition and Metal Edition drives are both priced at S$149 for 1TB capacity and S$239 for 2TB capacity. All drives include a regional 3-year limited warranty.

Conclusion

The WD My Passport Ultra Anniversary Edition is a gorgeous looking aluminium version of the familiar My Passport Ultra portable external drives.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous looking aluminium enclosure
  • Built-in hardware encryption

Cons:

  • Some people may balk at having to pay more for a nicer shell of the same thing

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