Some developers refresh their product lines infrequently, only changing their formula when they’re able to dramatically improve performance or offer new features. In contrast, others release new editions of their line seemingly every year, continually evolving their line as a car company would. Western Digital falls into this latter category, but that doesn’t mean their latest My Passport Studio portable hard drive isn’t a huge leap forward for the portable line. Thanks to an innovative new display and some solid connection speeds, the My Passport Studio is a solid successor to Western Digital’s tradition.
The latest My Passport Studio offers a dual interface design with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity. The drive also comes Time Machine ready and offers capacities of 640GB, 500GB, and 320GB.
The unit itself is slightly shorter and more rounded than the previous version, weighing in at 0.4 pounds and with dimensions of 3.3 by 0.7 by 4.8 inches. It feels flimsy in your hands but survived several of our drop tests with no ill effects. The My Passport Studio is light enough to put in your pocket and take with you anywhere.
The My Passport Studio features a sleek silver aluminium exterior with white trim and a new smart display. Even when unplugged, you can view the white on black customizable label. The display can reveal what’s on the drive, to whom it belongs to, or indicate some other message to its owner. Meanwhile, the display also lets you know the available capacity and security status of the drive.
The My Passport Studio features a 2.5-inch drive with a 8MB cache and a 5400-rpm drive mechanism. The drive offers both USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 ports, though users can also achieve FireWire 400 connectivity with a FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 cord (not included).
With only a 5400 rpm mechanism and without eSATA connectivity, it’s not surprising that the My Passport Studio did not achieve the best times we’ve seen in our tests. The My Passport Studio finished our 1GB copy test in 31 seconds while using its FireWire 800 connection. The My Passport Studio fared better in our duplication tests, finishing the test in 39 seconds with its FireWire 800 connection enabled.