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Wednesday September 12, 2012 11:21 am

Western Digital My Passport for Mac 3.0 review

Western Digital My Passport for Mac USB 3.0

Western Digital recently released its updated My Passport for Mac 3.0 portable hard drive, which now offers increased storage capacity, a redesigned look, and the welcome addition of USB 3.0 compatibility. Western Digital wants this to be the drive you turn to if you want a drive that offers fast speeds, secure encryption, and a level of fashion. Does it live up to its promise? That's what we aim to cover in our My Passport for Mac review.

WD My Passport for Mac Specs

  • Interface: USB 3.0 + USB 2.0
  • Capacities
  • 500GB: WDBGCH5000ASL ($89.99)
  • 1TB: WDBGCH0010BSL ($109.99)
  • 2TB: WDBKKF0020BSL ($209.99)
  • Height: 0.60-inches (500GB and 1TB) or 0.82-inches (2TB), Length: 4.35-inches, Width:  3.23-inches
  • Formatted HFS+ Journaled for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion (requires reformatting for use with Windows)
  • No external power required

Box Contents

  • Portable hard drive
  • USB cable
  • WD Security
  • WD Drive Utilities
  • Quick Install Guide

The new My Passport for Mac 3.0 features a black and aluminum case design that easily matches any Mac. It matches up great with an iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini from an aesthetic standpoint. Specifically, the two-tone color scheme is accomplished by way of the black border and bottom half, with a brushed-metal colored plastic on top. The bottom of the hard drive has four rubber feet that keep the drive from moving around. Finally, on the bottom is where you'll find the serial number and other product information.

The rear edge is where the USB 3.0 port lies, and Western Digital includes a USB 3.0  cable in the box with purchase, so you've got everything you need for the purchase price.

The My Passport for Mac includes a standard USB 3.0 interface, which offers compatibility with every Mac on the market since it's backwards compatible with USB 2.0--although you'll lose all the speed benefits that the drive is meant to offer. In order to take advantage of the USB 3.0 speeds, you'll need to be using a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Pro with Retina display, as Apple has yet to bring the USB 3.0 interface to the iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro line.

Western Digital includes two pieces of software packages with the My Passport for Mac. WD Drive Utilities allows you to run diagnostics on your drive, set sleep settings, and register your product. WD Security allows you to set password protection and hardware encryption for your drive to protect your files from unauthorized use or access.

The MSRP of the My Passport for Mac 3.0 is $89.99 for the 500GB model, $109.99 for the 1TB model (which is the unit we used for the purposes of this review,) and $209.99 for the 2TB drive. The case is solid and looks great, easily mistaken for aluminum until you actually pick it up. It's also easily portable, which it sort of needs to be since the only USB 3.0 Macs are portable notebooks. All-in-all, we think the design and capacity of the My Passport for Mac 3.0 make it will worth the price, especially compared with the previous generation model that sold at a similar price. It's an inexpensive way to add high-speed storage to your USB 3.0-enabled Mac. You can pick up the Western Digital My Passport for Mac 3.0 now. If you want something smaller and thinner, check out the My Passport Edge.

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