WD My Passport Ultra portable hard drive
This slim, small USB 3.0 hard drive is quick and quiet
- Fast USB 3.0 transfer speeds
- Bundled monitoring, backup, security software
- Larger and more expensive than competing drives
WD’s My Passport Ultra portable HDD is a surprisingly small device, easy to slip into a backpack, laptop bag, or jeans pocket.
Price$ 139.00 (AUD)
The WD My Passport Ultra is the fastest portable hard drive that Western Digital makes. Despite this, it’s quite small and light, runs silently, and isn’t too expensive. If you’ve got a USB 3.0 computer and don’t mind paying a little more than other drives cost, the My Passport Ultra should keep you happy.
WD My Passport Ultra: Design, features, and setup
The WD My Passport Ultra looks very similar to the My Passport Edge from 2012, except it’s now available in red, blue, black and silver.
Our 1TB test drive is the larger of the two capacities currently available — the other is a slightly cheaper 500GB. There’s a 2TB model on the way in a few months. WD includes a soft protective pouch for carrying the drive and its USB cable around in.
Being a USB 3.0 drive, the My Passport Ultra uses the long, skinny USB 3.0 connector on one of its shorter edges. Apart from a power/status light, it’s the only feature on the otherwise buttonless, display-less drive.
WD bundles a 50cm-long cable with the Ultra; since it runs off USB bus power there’s no need for a secondary power adapter or Y-split USB cable.
The drive comes pre-formatted for Windows systems, and Mac OS X will also be able to access files but not write them without a simple re-format process. A PDF user’s manual — in 24 languages, no less — is on the drive, although we’re guessing that if you’ve managed to plug the drive in and get it working enough to be able to see the manual, you’re doing just fine already.
The My Passport Ultra comes pre-loaded with Western Digital’s SmartWare, Security and Disk Utilities programs, both for Windows and OS X — for disk monitoring, setting a user password, and automated backups.
These utilities are useful, don’t pop up unnecessarily, and are relatively lightweight to install and use. They’re nothing too exciting, but SmartWare’s automated backup process and Dropbox syncing might come in handy for some users.
WD My Passport Ultra: Performance
The Ultra performed well in our real-world and synthetic benchmarks — apart from solid-state drives, it’s the fastest USB 3.0 drive we’ve tried out.
We managed to hit USB 3.0 read and write speeds of 114MBps and 111MBps respectively, which is hugely fast for a relatively cheap and high-capacity storage device. USB 2.0 speeds, relevant if you’re only able to transfer to the drive using an older computer, are a middling 33MBps and 29MBps.
1TB, by Western Digital’s count, is enough to hold 200,000 photos, 76 hours of video, or 250,000 music tracks. Realistically this is more than enough space for the average user, unless you’ve got a particularly large downloaded movie or TV show library, in which case you should be looking at a desktop backup solution rather than a portable one.
WD My Passport Ultra: Conclusion
The My Passport Ultra is pretty fast for a spinning-disk portable drive, and it offers all the advantages of having such excessive storage capacity in the palm of your hand.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- AMD Radeon Pro Graphics powers Amazon Web Services AppStream 2.0
- Western Digital to acquire Tegile
- ASUSTOR Announces Official Launch of ADM 3.0
- Seagate Launces DJI Fly Drive in Australia and New Zealand for Drone Users
- New development for Western Digital
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- Dishonored - Death Of The Outsider review:
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- MSI GE73 VR Raider Gaming Laptop review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTLevel 3 Support Engineer (Tibco, Java, J2ee, Jboss)Other
- CCNetwork Security ArchitectQLD
- FTConfiguration SpecialistOther
- FTPlanner - Network Planning and Strategy (Telco Environment)Other
- FTInfrastructure/ Hybrid Cloud Architect - Government OrganisationVIC
- CCData Business AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Insurance ClaimsNSW
- FTNetwork & Security Gateway EngineerACT
- FTProject SchedulerQLD
- CCService Delivery AnalystVIC
- FTInternal Communications ManagerOther
- FTDeployment Project CoordinatorOther
- FTSalesForce AdministratorOther
- FTETL & SQL Data AnalystOther
- TPSenior Change ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Developer - Oracle - TelcoVIC
- FTSolution Architect - Enterprise VoiceACT
- FTPMO Analyst BIWA
- CCTechnical Business AnalystQLD
- FTUX Designer | Mobile App | Initial 6 Month ContractOther
- CCFilenet Developer - BrisbaneVIC
- FTTM1 DeveloperOther
- CCUX Developer / DesignerQLD
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerOther