Written on: 15/08/2006 by martin99 (29 reviews written)
USB bus powered
Spin speed - 5,400rpm
Cache - 2Mb
Quiet and cool running
Sync & encryption software supplied
None so far
The Western Digital Passport range comprises four compact USB 2.0/1.1 compliant devices designed for plugging into spare ports on laptop or desktop computers. Available as 40Gb, 60Gb, 80Gb and 120Gb units, these drives are rather special because, on the whole, they don't need external adaptors to run. In each case, power is supplied from the USB bus, meaning no extra brick on the wall to worry about.
Whereas, if a certain PC can't provide enough USB bus power to spin your drive, an optional DC adaptor can be purchased to solve the issue. Though, needless to say, doing this would probably detract from the main reason for having a Passport drive in the first place. Yet the option still remains.
Otherwise, there's not a lot to say. If you're talking hard disk drives then the 'Western Digital' brand speaks for itself, doesn't it? I wasn't amazed when my 60Gb version worked straight out of the box in conjunction with a two-year-old Sony Vaio laptop model PCG-K215B.
The drive is whisper quiet and runs cold, while transfer and seek times are quick due to the 5,400rpm spin speed and 2Mb cache. Furthermore, at only around 14.5cm x 9cm x 2cm, my unit sits well on even the smallest worktable where, in silver and black, it matches Mr Sony impeccably.
Every drive is also supplied with encryption and sync software, which I can't comment on because I haven't used them.
But why would you want one of these Passport thingies anyhow?
Well, it's ideal for someone like me who needs to backup work regularly and who, just as regularly, gets sick to death of waiting while large files transfer to a flash card in his mobile. Using a Passport drive is a lot quicker, which means I can quit and get home a lot sooner. Good news indeed.
Also, if your laptop is running short of hard disk space, it's more economical (never mind feasible) to hang a Passport onto one of your spare USB ports and gain up to 120 extra gigabytes at a stroke. Just like that!
Online prices are competitive too. So, all told, it seems the Passport range is well worth serious scrutiny. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Honest.
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