Solid, reliable and shiny
Summary : A testament to 10 years of My Passport hard drives, looks the part and gives us that reliable WD performance.
The My Passport family of portable hard drives has just turned ten and Western Digital has celebrated by releasing two very special variants, the My Passport Ultra Metal Edition and the My Passport Ultra Anniversary Edition. Today, we’re lucky enough to have the Metal Edition with us to take a look at, so let’s dive in and see what ten years of My Passport have culminated into.
It’s hard not to be struck by how attractive the Metal Edition is – I know people always say people are attracted to shiny things, and they’re right. The “radial-spin-design” gives the front of the device an almost holographic quality and it looks great seated on any table in any light. The chamfered edge that goes all the way around the top edge looks great too and looks reminiscent of some of the better looking smartphones on the market. The My Passport has been through many facelifts, some better than others, but this Metal Edition puts the icing on the cake for the most recent My Passport devices which can look a bit pedestrian at times.
While the Metal Edition is definitely a beautiful device, its build quality is perhaps less than what I was hoping for. While I haven’t been going out of my way to damage the device, small chips and scratches on the shiny metallic face have appeared and I’m assuming will continue to as time goes on. Given that the face of the device can stratch a little, I’m a bit disappointed that some kind of carry bag wasn’t included in the box to perhaps prevent this happening – maybe I just have an infatuation with carry bags.
It must be noted, though, that this isn’t a comment on the overall build quality of the Metal Edition, just the cosmetics. The device is very solid and actually carries a lot of weight despite being just a standard 2.5-inch hard drive. I’d even go as far to say that it feels almost twice as heavy as a normal portable hard drive, and this gives me pretty good confidence that it will be able to sustain more than the average bump during daily activities.
With USB 3.0 available, you’d expect the Metal Edition to give you pretty good speeds. After putting it through Crystal Disk Mark, I’d say that it does.
As a matter of interest, I also ran the same test but with the Metal Edition attached to the USB 2.0 port. Naturally, the speed was more than 3 times slower, but still relatively spritely considering. But of course, you’ll want to aim at always using an USB 3.0 port to make use of its capabilities.
While hard drive speed is generally pretty generic with very little to no difference between hard drives, there is also software included on the Metal Edition that may of interest to you, particularly if you’re needing to back up your computers often or protect your information. These pieces of software include WD Drive Utilities, WD Security and WD SmartWare.
WD Drive Utilities are for lower level settings you can edit like the amount of time your hard drive stays awake for before going to sleep and performing disk checks. WD Security, as its name suggests, is used to give password and encryption support to your hard drive if you require it. WD SmartWare is a nifty little tool that will help you setup schedules for backing up your computer, whether it is timed or continuously backing up, and if you get SmartWare Pro account, you can also set it up to backup your computer to the cloud via DropBox. While Drive Utilities and Security, SmartWare is probably the most useful of the three pieces of included software, and the software is well laid out and easy to use – setting up backups is a breeze.
With a pretty comprehensive software suite and snazzy looks, it’s hard to argue that you’re getting quite a lot with your My Passport Ultra Metal Edition package. But how much does this package cost? The 1TB version of the Metal Edition comes in at $119.99 AUD and the 2TB will set you back $179.99 AUD. Using the 1TB as the primary example, there are of course options that are cheaper, most notably Western Digital’s own Elements hard drives which cost a good $30 cheaper than the My Passport Ultra.
The primary difference in the pricing, as far as I can see, is down construction materials and software. The Elements devices have plastic exteriors and comes with WD SmartWare, whereas the My Passport Ultra Metal Edition is constructed from much sturdier materials and security is one of its primary value propositions. So if you’re looking for a secure, protected hard drive for important documents and files, the My Passport Ultra Metal Edition is a very safe option, however if you’re just a casual user, it may be hard to justify pay the extra amount for essentially an upgraded appearance (though a protective one at that).
Over the last 10 years, Western Digital has made the My Passport line of devices its premiere portable external hard drive solution and its great to see the line still going and offering options for consumers. It may be a bit dear, but the Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal Edition is a worthy device to celebrate the My Passport’s anniversary with, offering security, backup software and a particularly special construction that should make your portable storage family just that little bit more stylish.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal Edition you can visit its product page here.