WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB USB 3.0 External HDD

Viewing page 1 of 4 pages. 1 2 3 4 Next
WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB USB 3.0 External HDD

January 10, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB
Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
Western Digital
Street Price

In recent years hard drive sales have been fueled primarily by an exponential rise in digital content creation and consumption and capacity and cost have thankfully improved over time to keep pace with this demand. The external hard drive, once an accessory of the tech savvy elite, is today a common consumer device used by people from all walks of life, from executives to college students to soccer moms.

With so much data at our finger tips, we not only feel compelled to store it, but to transfer it over long distances, an arduous journey depending on the amount of data involved. Today, data rains down on us from cell towers and GPS satellites, but try sending a high definition home movie to a friend a few hundred miles away — for most, the fastest method would be to simply ship the drive on which its contained. Hard drives are also prone to catastrophic failure and data recovery, when possible, is typically very expensive. With most of our memories, ideas, and very lives now stored in 1's and 0's, it has become essential to have a backup copy.

The My Passport Essential SE 1TB (silver).

External models based on 2.5" hard drives are particularly desirable due to their compact form factor and the absence of an external power connector. Western Digital's Passport line is the best-selling and most well known portable hard drives and their latest models have been updated with USB 3.0 which provides a huge speed boost over the traditional USB 2.0 interface. The new Passports are broken down into three subfamilies with the My Passport Essential SE variants being the cream of the crop, 750GB/1TB drives available in four different colors (black, blue, red, and silver) and shipping with backup and password protection software. There's one non-SE Essential model (500GB) which is exactly the same only available in one extra color, white. Their budget offerings are the 500GB~1TB WD Elements, bigger, chunkier drives which include no extras at all. Our review sample is a sleek 1TB My Passport Essential SE in silver.


The package is fairly Spartan consisting of a simple green cardboard cover outlining the ubiquitous plastic clamshell container. Inside is the drive, a small instruction card, and a USB 3.0 cable. The drive has a Apple-ish look to it, with a silver shell with rounded corners made to resemble cast aluminum, though the composition is plastic. It's not exactly rugged, but we wouldn't describe it as flimsy either. There are no visible screws on the outside, so a spudger tool is likely required to pry it apart to access the drive inside. By our measurements, the dimensions are approximately 83 x 109 x 19 mm and 200 grams.

The drive uses a 18 inch standard micro USB 3.0 cable.

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
WD quality inside and out. My Passport portable drives are the world's best selling drives. There's a reason. We've been making hard drives for 20 years and we know how to protect your data. Most sold doesn't necessarily equate to best quality.
USB 3.0 plus USB 2.0.
A single drive with universal compatibility today and next-generation speed for tomorrow. Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.
USB 3.0 is by its nature, backwards compatible.
High capacity in a smaller drive.
Massive capacity in this small, stylish drive that is powered directly from the USB port on your PC. No separate power supply is needed.
One of the big advantages of external 2.5" drives — no bulky AC adapter required.

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB: Specifications (from the product web page)
Serial Bus Transfer Rate (USB 3.0)
5 Gb/s (Max)
Serial Bus Transfer Rate (USB 2.0)
480 Mb/s (Max)
1 TB
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
Dimensions (H x D x W) 0.70 x 4.3 x 3.2 inches
18 x 110 x 83 mm
Weight 0.45 pounds
0.20 kg
Operating Temperature 41° F to 95° F
5° C to 35° C
Non-operating Temperature -4° F to 149° F
-20° C to 65° C

1 2 3 4 Next

- Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!