by Brian Beeler

WD My Passport Edge for PC Review (WDBK6Z5000ATT)

Last month WD released a pair of thin portable hard drives that constitute the My Passport Edge family. We recently reviewed the My Passport Edge for Mac, which like its PC brother offers 500GB of hard drive storage and USB 3.0. My Passport Edge for PC though, uses a different enclosure design, opting for decorated plastic shell instead of the aluminum enclosure in the Mac version. And because many PC users don't have backup software, WD includes SmartWare, to give PC users an automated backup and recovery application.

The My Passport Edge for PC comes in a simple single color, single capacity configuration, though WD has been known to add more style options and colors to their portable external drives in the past. The single SKU does make it easier to compete though in retail, where shelf space is tight for accessories like this. In addition to the backup software, WD also includes drive security and utilities applications that help users password protect the contents of the drive and monitor drive health. The My Passport Edge for PC currently retails for $89.99, $10 less than the metal-bodied Mac version.

WD My Passport Edge for PC Specifications

  • Capacity: 500GB (WDBK6Z5000ATT)
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: Height 0.50 Inches x Depth 4.34 Inches x Width 3.21 Inches
  • Weight: 0.30 Pounds
  • Environmental Specifications
  • Temperature: Operating 41° F to 95° F, Non-operating -4° F to 149° F
  • Software: SmartWare, WD Security, WD Drive Utilities
  • Warranty: 2 years (US)

Design and Build

The Edge for PC is just half an inch tall, making it barely thicker than the 2.5" hard drive inside. While the body is plastic, it's still rigid around the edges, and only flexes at the top under heavy pressure. When tossed inside a backpack or briefcase, it will surely live up to the daily bumps and jostling it's designed to withstand. Compared to the metal Mac version, the PC Edge still looks good, with it's grey dotted lid, but it does give away some of the elegance the Mac solution offers. 

When flipped over, we can see WD includes four rubber feet, to keep the drive from slipping around on a flat surface like a desk. The rubber feet are stuck on, but don't cover screw holes. To gain access to the drive inside, the case must be pried apart, which is likely to crack the clips inside that hold the enclosure together. 

Of course the WD My Passport Edge uses USB 3.0 in the PC version, just like the Mac Edge. The drive is hardly taller than the cable height, when the included USB 3.0 cord is inserted. The drive is bus-powered, so there's no need for external power supply. The USB cord is about a foot and a half long, just right for most portable and even desktop-based needs. 

Performance

Since this WD My Passport Edge is aimed at PC users, we used our current PC consumer testing platform equipped with USB3. Using IOMeter, we measured sequential transfer speeds of 111.5MB/s read and 111.2MB/s write. Large-block random transfers measured 47.7MB/s read and 46.9MB/s write. Those speeds are about what we'd expect from the drive if it were directly connected, so there's very little overhead involved. 

Conclusion

The WD My Passport Edge for PC offers 500GB of storage in an enclosure that's barely taller than the USB 3.0 plug it connects to. The design looks good for a product that's a little more value-focused than the all-metal Mac brother; but even with a plastic body the drive remains fairly rigid, only bending at the top under abnormal pressure. WD includes a nice software suite as well, giving PC users an automated backup software, that's similar in function to what Apple users have with Time Machine. 

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • Value-add software included

Cons

  • Mac version for a few dollars more might be a worthy step up for some buyers

Bottom Line

The WD My Passport Edge for PC gives portable buyers what they want; large capacity in a small form factor that can stand up to the daily routine. While the Mac version looks and feels better for $10 more, the PC Edge does include a nice backup application for PC uers and a features a clean design. 

WD My Passport Edge at Amazon.com

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