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Storage Devices Reviews
15,670 Reviews

WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB review

£139 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Western Digital

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Western Digital's My Passport Essential SE is currently the only portable external hard drive to boast a whopping 1TB of storage space. Despite this, it is one of the smallest hard drives around and is quite speedy, too.

Western Digital's My Passport Essential SE is currently the only portable external hard drive to boast a whopping 1TB of storage space. Despite this, it is one of the smallest hard drives around and is quite speedy, too.

For the My Passport Essential SE, Western Digital bypassed the standard SATA II circuitry and built a USB connection directly into the 2.5 inch internal hard drive, making it shorter than other external hard drives. Unfortunately, the company chose to integrate a micro-USB connection instead of the more common mini-USB port found on external hard drives and digital cameras. While the connection is supposed to be more durable, the cable is also harder to replace if lost.

The My Passport Essential SE has four 250GB platters, making the drive slightly fatter than its 320GB and 500GB counterparts. However, it's still extremely portable and light. It incorporates 256-bit AES hardware encryption, but lacks any form of password recovery.

The bundled WD SmartWare software (see screenshot image to the left of this review) automatically launches the first time the My Passport Essential SE is connected, and categorises data on both your PC and the drive based on file extensions. From here, you can choose which types of files to back up. However, the My Passport Essential SE does not allow you to set your own custom extensions. This means obscure media formats, for example, will simply be listed as "other". WD SmartWare supports sequential backups for up to 25 versions of the same file.

When compared to other portable external hard drives, the Western Digital My Passport SE seems a little sluggish when writing small files. However, that is still only a relative term since the speed of all external hard drives that connect to the PC over USB 2.0 are limited by the port itself. Seen in that context, it still offers fast read speeds with both big and small files.

The huge storage capacity, strong security, and ease of use make the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE external hard drive a great choice for those who need to take their work with them. It is available in 4 colors - Black, Blue, Red and Silver.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PCWorld.in

WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB Expert Verdict »

Hard drive - external
110x83x18mm
200g
1TB Hard Drive
Hi-Speed USB
Password authentication
Interface Transfer Rate: 480Mbps
USB cable - external
RoHS
powered by USB bus
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The My Passport Essential SE is Western Digital's largest capacity portable hard drive yet, and it offers encryption to keep your data secure. Buy it if you have to lug a lot of data around, or prefer to keep your system backups on an easily mobile drive.

  • Western Digital My Passport Essential review

    Western Digital My Passport Essential

    A USB 2.0-only 500GB external hard drive, the Western Digital My Passport Essential is both small and capacious, with one of the most affordable cost-per-gigabyte ratios currently available. It's not without its issues, however.

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    Western Digital My Passport Studio 500GB

    The Western Digital My Passport Studio 500GB is an external hard drive with USB and FireWire connectivity.

  • Western Digital My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 review

    Western Digital My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0

    The 500GB Western Digital My Passport Essential with USB 3.0 connectivity is a portable hard drive that fits easily into your jeans pocket. It's simple to use, really quiet, and offers read speeds that closely rival other drives in its category.

  • Western Digital My Passport AV review

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    The Western Digital My Passport AV is an attractively compact portable USB 2.0 external hard drive with 320GB of data storage capacity. It is designed without any sharp edges in a glossy black colour.

  • Western Digital My Passport Edge (500GB) review

    Western Digital My Passport Edge (500GB)

    The WD My Passport Edge adds good looks and better transportability to Western Digital's My Passport line of portable hard drives. It's fast, but tops out at 500GB instead of the 2TB available with the non-Edge My Passport. Here's our WD My Passport Edge review.


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