Slim and Por­ta­ble

Western Dig­i­tal My Pass­port Slim 1TB

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

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/Hard­ware­ 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.

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