Price (RRP): $88-219
The WD My Passport 2019 – (OK, it is 2020 but released late last year) is proof that larger, external, portable hard disks refuse to die in the onslaught of smaller, faster, shockproof SSDs.
That is not to denigrate the WD My Passport 2019 in any way – it comes in 1, 2, 4 and 5TB models, not to mention in Black, Sky and Red colours over a vastly slimmed-down 107.2mm x 75mm x 11.15mm chassis.
WD claims that the market for portable spinning disks is huge. The WD Passport 2019 fills the gap for lower cost, larger storage, and if you look after it will last many years.
WD My Passport 2019
Price: (JB-Hi Fi prices used but shop around online)
- 1TB – $88 (8.8 cents by GB) half-height 11.15mm 16MB cache
- 2TB $109 (5.5 cents) half-height, 32MB cache
- 4TB $199 (5 cents) full-height, 19.15mm, 64MB cache
- 5TB $219 (4.4 cents) full-height, 128MB cache
There is 3TB Mac WDBA2F00n version formatted in HFS+ for a few dollars more. My Passports are formatted exFAT and can be formatted for Mac.
I have a red 2TB to test – although red really does not do the kind of dusty pink-orange justice – it is pretty.
It is a 5400RPM drive uses a USB-A to micro-B interface – so it will not break speed records. You can buy a USB-C to Micro-B, but these cost about $20, and we are not sure it improves throughput.
This is a SATA 6 drive using a USB-A 3.2, Gen 1 (5Gbps/625MBps half-duplex) interface. The 2TB performed as expected – sequential read/write 120/106MBps and random read/write 116/109MBps.
And as the cache is small, it quickly fills if reading or writing larger files.
We ran the test on an older USB-A 2.0 PC, and it achieved about 40MBps read/write speeds.
So it is fine to stream 4K movies.
But you can see that it is not a drive to store larger files as the cache quickly fills. Don’t be concerned – almost all external USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 hard drives perform similarly.
You can install free WD Backup, Security (encryption) and Drive utilities.
GadgetGuy’s take – WD My Passport 2019 is a great portable hard disk
If all you want is a low-cost external backup and you are not concerned at how long it takes then this is perfect.
If you want speed, then a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) like the Samsung T7 or SanDisk Extreme Pro (also WD) will give you closer to 1Gbps read/write if you have the right PC. Of course, these will cost closer to 40-50 cents a GB.