When USB flash drives first came to market it was a revolution. They delivered a solution that offered much larger storage capacity compared to floppy disks, packaged in something about the size of a person’s thumb. Suddenly, you could just save your papers, presentations, and even a smattering of photos onto a little flash drive and safely take it with you anywhere.
Times have changed, obviously, with the advent of cloud-based storage solutions like Dropbox, but portable storage on a physical device is still as necessary as ever, especially when you need a substantial amount of available capacity for backup purposes. External hard drives are the ticket here, and Western Digital has a teeny-tiny one that offers 500GB of storage in a form factor that fits in your pants pocket with relative ease.
|Western Digital My Passport Edge
|Specifications & Features
Primary OS Support:
USB 3.0/2.0 (5Gbps max)
Windows 7/8, Mac OS X Lion or Mountain Lion
3.21 x 0.5 x 4.43 inches (HxDxW)
approx. $79.99-99.99 (street prices)
The My Passport Edge obviously isn’t as small as a typical USB flash drive, but it’s actually not all that far off. The chassis measures 3.21 x 0.5 x 4.43 inches (HxDxW)--barely larger than the slim 2.5-inch drive inside--and it weighs just a third of a pound. To put that weight in perspective, that’s about the same heft as a well-appointed cheeseburger.
WD opted for a USB 3.0 interface on the chassis that offers much more bandwidth than the SATA 3Gbps port on the drive itself and obviates the need for any external power supply, as the unit can simply run off of the USB port’s power. There’s 500GB of capacity on board, which is substantial enough for most users needing storage on the go, and the drive features a modest 5400RPM spindle speed with 8MB cache.
One of the My Passport Edge’s best features is the handy backup/restore, security, and utilities software that comes loaded on the drive, which we’ll dig into on the next page.