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Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB – My HDDs Review Part 1

I am a big movie buff & I regularly download & watch sitcoms / tv series. I have Dell XPS L501x which comes with awesome 1080p LED screen with super awesome speakers. But what’s the joy in watching all those DVD rips when I have so powerful media machine ? 1080p MKV movies have huge size ranging from 12GB – 18GB. With inbuilt 500GB HDD I could hardly make space for 25 Full High Definition movies [25 * 15GB]. So I decided to buy 2 TB External 3.5″ HDD + 1 TB 2.5″ HDD. To add my bad luck, shit happned in Thailand & all HDDs prices increased within few hours. Then I decided to go with two 1 TB 2.5″ drives since I am a frequent traveller. Let’s get to the business !

This is first part of my hard disks review, in 2nd part I have reviewed Seagate Expansion 1TB. The 3rd & last part contains comparisons between the two. I bought both drives in Jan 2012. Seagate USB 3.0 wasn’t available at that time

Views presented here entirely personal & based on my experience with these devices. If you have found any mistakes, please let me know, I’d be happy to correct it. 

Packaging & Contents :

Comes with typical WD packaging, you can see the drive from outside. The backside has a comparison bar showing how much songs, videos & photos can be stored.

What’s Inside the box :

  • WD 1TB HDD
  • Propitiatory USB cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Warranty information

Specs :

  • Brand : Western Digital
  • Model : My Passport Essential SE
  • Capacity : 1TB [1000GB]
  • Ports : USB [upto USB 3.0]
  • Dimenstions : 4.3 x 3.2 x 0.70 inches
  • Weight : 204.11g [7.2 ounces]
  • Spin rate : 5400 rpm
  • OS Supported : XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X v10.5 or later
  • External Power required : NO
  • Transfer speed : 5GB/s [USB 3.0], 480MB/s [USB 2.0]
  • Size : 2.5 inches
  • Warranrty : 3 years
  • Temperature (Metric)
  • Operating 5° C to 40° C
  • Non-operating -20° C to 65° C

Design :

Design is pretty good with round edged corners. It just weighs 200g makes it one of the lighter external HDDs around. Though it has a plastic body which is kinda filmsy. Other HDDs come with aluminium cases at alsmost same price.

It comes in many colors but only silver & black are available in India.

Size is really small as you can see in pictures. Compared to other HDDs of similar storage, I think, this HDD is more small & sexy looking. Fits easily in my jeans pocket. Comparison with iPhone :

Only God knows why they named it ‘Passport’, but I couldn’t resist myself comparing it with it & it is actually smaller than standard passport

It does not come with power switch & also it does not have any openings except USB port. The only little LED positioned on side indicates HDD activity.

Internally it is powered by 2.5-inch laptop HDD spinning at 5400 RPM with 8MB cache.

Problem is device comes with proprietary USB cable and it is not so easy to get a new one.

Bundled Software :
The software bundle includes :

  • WD Quick Formatter
  • WD Smartware
  • User Manuals

WD Quick Formatter is used to format the new drive properly.

WD SmartWare, the backup suite, is simple & easy to install. Once installed it prompts to add a password to secure the drive, perform initial backup for the system.
You can also set automatic back up scheduler which does it’s work quiet well in background. Though, however, you cannot create complete ‘image’ of your HDD, which comes handy in complete OS failure.

Restoring back up is no brainer, has a simple one click restore, selecting whether to restore at original location or new folder prior to it.

One important feature I like is, built-in power saving sleep timer. After predifned seconds the device shuts off itself.

The software also comes with pretty good encryption software to protect the HDD & password-protect files. The AES 256-bit hardware encryption is a really good feature, which is disabled by default. If you forgot your password, then consider you are doomed.

Drive diagnostics also can be done using bundled software.

Performance :

Since I have only one 1TB USB 3.0 HDD, I cannot compare with others. However I get speeds around 65 – 75 MB/seconds.


That means, I can copy over approx 4.2 GB in a minute. I copied data around 200GB within an hour. That’s awesome !

Benchmarks :

bm1 bm2




Conclusion :

Pros :

  • Good looks. Small size, easily fits in jeans pocket.
  • Large capacity with good transfer rate.
  • WD smartware makes easy to back up files. It also comes with diagnostic tools.
  • Has password protection & 256-bit AES hardware encryption feature.
  • Silent.

Cons :

  • Plastic case, finger print magnet & also kinda feels filmsy.
  • Proprietary USB cable/connector.
  • Comes with NO pouch.
  • 5200 RPM.
  • No power switch.
  • Only 3 years warranty.

Verdict :

This is the best drive you can get for your money in India. It is very small, sleek & slim easy to carry in jeans. The transfer speeds are really good. Though the body is plastic & tends to get scratches very soon. If you don’t have USB 3.0 supported computer, no point in buying this. IMO this is the only ‘balanced’ HDD available in India, which has good transfer speeds, good looking & compact with buttload of size.

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