Slim and Portable
Western Digital My Passport Slim 1TB
designed with a metallic front panel and a mostly plastic enclosure. It feels solidly built and the chassis exhibited little signs of flexing. There is also a tiny LED indicator besides the USB 3.0 micro-B port to let users know that the drive is functioning.
As for performance, the Slim performed favorably against the Seagate Backup Plus, the winner of our Best 2.5-inch Portable External Hard Disk at the 2013 edition of HWM/HardwareZone.com Tech Awards. Sequential read and write speeds were 113MB/s and 104MB/s respectively, which is comparable to the Seagate’s 110MB/s and 109MB/s.
Random read and write performance was pretty impressive. It managed 0.56MB/s random read speeds and 1.41MB/s random write speeds, appreciably better than the Seagate Backup Plus, which recorded 0.42MB/s and 0.61MB/s random read and write speeds respectively.
Additionally, it only took 26.48 seconds for it to transfer a 1.72GB movie file, which is almost a second quicker than the Seagate Backup Plus which took 27.3 seconds.
The Slim also comes with a revamped version of WD’s backup utility. Smartware now features an updated user interface and is straightforward and easy to use. It offers scheduled backups and can also be configured to backup only selected files and folders. It even categorizes your file types to show what file types – music, movies, documents or pictures – are taking up the most space.
And if you upgrade to the Pro version – $20 for a threecomputer license – you can use Smartware with Western Digital’s no-frills Elements drives and other third party USB drives. The Pro version also lets you configure backups to your Dropbox account. Also, Smartware only runs on Windows for now.
All things considered, the new Slim is a competent drive that offers good performance and comes bundled with a decent backup utility. That said, it is not very much slimmer or lighter than existing 2.5-inch portable hard disk drives and we would rather much the Pro version of Western Digital’s WD Smartware utility be free from the get-go, instead of being a paid application.