Western Digital My Passport Essential 250GB

Simple and elegant storage

Western Digital offers its My Passport Essential drive in no less than 11 colours and six capacities, ranging from 120GB to 500GB. By that token, our 250GB drive in Midnight Black is a mainstream product, but we had a hard time tracking down a price as a number of outlets have it on sale for as little as £50.

However, the warranty can be as short as one year. We found £63 a more realistic price with a full five-year WD warranty.

When you connect the drive to your laptop the software installer auto-runs and wants to install the WD Sync utility for Windows. It also tries to foist a package of Google Software on you that includes Google Desktop and Toolbar, which is unnecessary for an external hard drive.

WD Sync lets you choose the types of file you wish to synchronise to ensure your My Passport drive reflects the state of your main computer. This is handy if you commute between two PCs, but less useful for laptop users who simply wish to use the My Passport drive for storage.

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MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars

Variety of capacities. Good value. Stylish design


Syncing isn't as simple as it could be


Attractive looking and attractively-priced storage for the masses



Max transfer rate






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