Produced by Western Digital, My Passport Edge for Mac is a 500GB, slimline, USB3 external hard drive. It measures just 112 x 83mm and is 11mm tall.
Designed to match the metal unibody design of the MacBook, the sides and underside are of a similar metal material. The top is a textured black plastic. On one edge is a a connection port and a white activity indicator (also designed to match the design of the MacBook). No additional power is required – all power is taken via the USB port.
Read and write speeds were both just a touch above 100Mb/s (102Mb/s write, 109Mb/s read), which is excellent.
Obviously this has been designed for the Mac but, with a format, it will happily work on a Windows PC as well. The USB3 connection is also backwards compatible with USB2 as well, ensuring you really can use it wherever you want.
Contained on the hard drive are utility and drive encryption programs – the 2nd allowing you to secure the contents by adding a password. Built-in hardware encrypts the drive contents. The drive is fully compatible with Apple’s Time Machine backup system, although I’m not sure if this is still the case if you encrypt the contents.
Packaging-wise, it comes in a large box. Inside is a “quick start guide” – a simple leaflet that contains a diagram of plugging in the drive and installing the software. As it doesn’t auto-run you still have to know to go and look for the software to run. So, that’s all a bit lacking. The big leaflet, though, is the warranty details. Unfortunately, the drive itself is held within 2 large pieces of moulded plastic – a cardboard equivalent would have done equally well and would have been far more responsible, environmentally.
What is missing though is any kind of storage for the drive itself. It’s portable because its expected to be carried around, probably with your Mac. A hard case or even a soft pouch would have been appreciated – especially for the price.
The RRP for the Passport Edge for Mac is £79.99, ten pounds more than the “standard” Passport Edge. The standard version is identical, except the metal section of the drive is black rather than the silver of this. Also, the top is perforated with holes, ensuring better cooling. Is this another company charging more for something simply because it’s for Apple users? Maybe, but I’m sure the lesser demand that you’ll inevitable get when targeting Mac owners is probably something to do with it.
A lovely looking and quick portable hard drive that will compliment any MacBook.
However, the lack of any kind of case to store it in and the high price (you can get 500GB USB3 equivalents for a lot less) – not forgetting that ridiculous packaging – lets it down.