Western Digital My Passport Studio hard drive review

The Western Digital My Passport Studio hard drive packs up to 320GB of storage into a device no bigger than a Moleskine notebook, but has Western Digital had to cut too many corners to get it to this size? We start saving files to find out.

Small, compact and silver the My Passport Studio is a simple affair. Geared specifically for the Mac market, the unit comes HFS+ Journal formatted for Mac OS 10.4.11 users and above although it can be reformatted for PC use.

Dimensions are 8 x 126.74 x 81mm and it weighs an incredibly light 180 grams. Keeping it small, there is no power brick, with power instead being drawn from either the FireWire or USB 2.0 connection.

There are no buttons on the device itself and the only notification you get that it’s on is one of four status lights at the rear of the unit.

Depending on how much data you’ve got on the hard drive will determine how many lights are lit and one represents 0-24%, 2 light are 25-49% and so on. It’s a quick and simple way of showing you how much data you’ve got on board, but in reality you’ll hardly use it.

Connecting to a Mac is as simple as plugging in a USB or FireWire cable and both are included in the box saving you the hassle of buying them.

The My Passport Studio comes in three sizes 160GB, 250GB and 320GB and the largest drive promises to store up to 91,400 digital photos or 80,000 songs (MP3), or 24 hours of Digital Video (DV), or 140 hours of DVD quality video or up to 38 hours of HD video.

Western Digital includes WD Drive manager and documentation on the drive itself although the only benefit you’ll get from installing this software is the ability to check the amount of hard drive space used via the top toolbar and those status lights on the drive itself.

Transfer speeds are to be expected, with a promise of 400Mbps for FireWire 400 users and 480Mbps for USB 2.0 users.

Verdict

The best gadgets we play with at Pocket-lint are always the ones that don’t make a meal out of the task at hand, and that can certainly be said for the Western Digital My Passport Studio hard drive.

The size of the drive and lack of a need for a power adapter means this really is a very portable option indeed.

Perfect for Time Machine backups on the move or just saving files if you’re looking for storage for your Mac.