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USB 3.0 1TB Portable (2.5-inch) HDD Shootout

USB 3.0 1TB Portable (2.5-inch) HDD Shootout

Meet the Drives: Western Digital My Passport Essential SE & Test Setup

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE


Western Digital’s My Passport Essential SE is a very compact drive, measuring just 110mm in length and 18mm thick, making it the only model in our shootout we would consider ‘pocket-sized’ (at least, it was the only model that comfortably fit in our pockets). While the basic design of the drive hasn't changed since a couple of years ago, at this compact form factor, there's not much room for it to evolve. Not that we're complaining since it's very practical as well.

Our review unit was finished in a metallic blue color with silver trim along the edge. The paint job was of a much higher quality than Imation’s metallic finish with a brighter sheen to it, and it also stood up quite well to fingerprints and scratches. One big negative against the drive is the tiny LED indicator light, which is roughly the size of a pinhole and located in a hard to see spot on the side of the drive. Unfortunately, this was also reported in our earlier review but it never was rectified since.


As with all Western Digital drives, the My Passport Essential SE comes with WD Smartware pre-installed. The main use for this will be its password protection utility, but if you're interested, you can also find tools for running diagnostics on your drive. WD Automatic Backup is also included, but requires an initial setup before it will work.



Test Setup

All the drives in this review were tested using the following system configuration. Take note that we tested the Buffalo drive with the PC Turbo EX drivers installed for all tests.

  • Intel Core i5 2400 (3.10GHz)
  • MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) (Intel Z68A (B3) chipset)
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • MSI GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit


Since these are external personal storage drives for backup and transition purposes, we didn't stress test them as much as we would have done so with local internal storage drive and NAS systems. As such we ran a reduced benchmark workload as listed below.

  • PCMark 07 Secondary Storage Suite
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 Read and Write Speeds
  • HD Tune Pro 5.0 Read Performance 
  • HD Tune Pro 5.0 Random Average Speed
  • HD Tune Pro 5.0 Random and Sequential Average Access Time