by Brian Beeler

WD My Passport Edge for Mac Review (WDBJBH5000ABK)

The 500GB WD My Passport Edge portable hard drive for Mac users picks up on Western Digital's revised design for their portable drives. Over the last year Western Digital has been busy redefining the design of their entire external portable hard drive line, none more evident than the sleek new metal bodies given to their My Passport Studio drives designed for Mac users. The 1TB Studio and the slightly more rotund 2TB My Passport Studio have lead the way, now complimented by the My Passport Edge for Mac, which brings the polished ID to a strikingly slim 500GB USB 3.0 portable.

The My Passport Edge for mac picks up a few other changes from its larger capacity My Studio cousins. For slimness, the Edge forgoes the FireWire ports found on the My Studio drives, opting for a single BUS-powered USB 3.0 interface. The Edge also comes in a single capacity point, at just 500GB for simplified build, marketing and support. The My Passport Edge for Mac comes with a three-year warranty and carries an MSRP of $119.99.

My Passport Edge for Mac Specifications

  • Capacity - 500GB (WDBJBH5000ABK)
  • Interface - USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
  • Physical Dimensions - Height 0.40 Inches x Depth 4.41 Inches x Width 3.37 Inches
  • Weight 0.36 Pounds
  • Operating 5° C to 35° C
  • Non-operating -20° C to 65° C
  • Formatted for Mac OS (can be reformatted for Windows)
  • 3 Year warranty

Design and Build
Like the My Studio for Mac externals, the Edge for Mac features an elegant yet sturdy CNC-machined aluminum case. The enclosure has no give at all, making the modest price increase over the Edge's plastic-bodied PC-targeted version seem like a no-brainer, regardless of host operating system. 

The enclosure comes apart in two, with the black top inlayed over the "Apple silver" lower half. The top piece has the WD badging, the underneath contains all of the regulatory info, along with a black sticker that has the serial number. The bottom also holds four rubber feet to help the drive grip nicely on a desk, along with four screws that hold the enclosure together.

The back of the drive contains the USB 3.0 port, along with a white pinhole light that indicates drive access and power. 

Performance
While this version of the My Passport Edge is aimed squarely at Mac users, since our Mac Mini platform used for testing only offers USB 2.0 connectivity, we used our current PC consumer testing platform. Using IOMeter, we measured sequential transfer speeds of 113.1MB/s read and 113.2MB/s write. Large-block random transfers measured 48.8MB/s write and 49.3MB/s read.

Software
Like most other WD drives the My Passport Edge for Mac includes a suite of management software. On the drive itself is a DMG that when installed gives users a tool that handles drive diagnostics, sleep timer, drive erase and WD registration. There's also an included security tool that lets users secure the drive with a password. While not full encryption, it's a nice added measure for a portable drive that has a decent shot at being lost or stolen.

Conclusion
For users on the run, size often matters and for mac users, design is a decision making factor. WD hits both points well then with the My Passport Edge for Mac, it's about as small as a portable hard drive can get, while leveraging a design that not only looks good, but is rigid and perfectly suited for portable hard drive duty. The USB 3.0 interface is plenty fast enough for the hard drive inside, and with expanding Mac support for the interface it's the best choice for this application. Factor in the useful software tools and you'd be hard pressed to find a better portable hard drive on the market today. 

Pros

  • Superb design
  • USB 3.0 interface is becoming more Mac ubiquitous
  • Useful included software

Cons

  • Tops out at 500GB

Bottom Line
The WD My Passport Edge for Mac has it all for those who want a thin, durable hard drive to use on the go - great design, sturdy build and value-add software. 

WD My Passport Edge for Mac at Amazon.com

Discuss This Review