WD’s latest rounds of redesign have spread across the range of portable storage, replacing the bold, bright, sharp, design-centric identity with rounded edges, muted colors, and simpler plastic bodies. Whim has given way to practicality, for which you may or may not be. The latest redesigned storage device is the WD My Passport SSD (2020). In this case, however, the changes are not just cosmetic. You get a huge improvement in hardware specs and speeds, keeping WD’s portable SSD lineup current and competitive. Here’s a look back at the all-new WD My Passport SSD (2020).
WD My Passport SSD Design and Features (2020)
The older two-tone metal-plastic design may have been a bit impractical with its sharp corners and overall dimensions, but it looked and felt very modern and upscale. Now you get a much more organic body shaped like a thin bar of soap. It’s much flatter than before, with rounded sides and corners that make for an easy grip. This device lies comfortably in your hand and in your pocket. It weighs only 45.7 g.
The body is made of metal and there is a swirling rib pattern on both the front and rear. The USB Type-C port is off-center at the bottom and there is no activity LED. The raised WD logo feels rough and looks rather garish, but otherwise this is a simple, sober design that will fit anywhere. You have the choice between Space Gray, Midnight Blue and Gold. A red version appears to be available in other countries but is not listed here.
Unlike some other portable SSDs (including models from Western Digital’s other brands, SanDisk, and G-Technology), there is no sealing or other form of protection from the elements. WD mentions the shock and vibration resistance inherent in SSDs, as well as the drop resistance for falls of up to 1.98 m.
It is perhaps not surprising that the My Passport SSD (2020) is very similar in shape and size to the SanDisk Extreme V2 portable SSD, but has no integrated handle, no robust coating or IP rating.
A very short USB type C cable with a type C to type A adapter is included in the scope of delivery for full compatibility. As we found with the previous incarnation of the My Passport SSD, such an adapter is technically outside of the official USB specification, so cables and adapters have notches to ensure that they are used together. However, this does not prevent you from using the entire cable plus adapter with another device. This should be avoided as some devices need to negotiate, for example, how much power to send from one side to the other, which cannot be done over an older USB port when using such an adapter.
WD My Passport SSD Price, Specs, and Performance (2020)
The biggest upgrade comes from using an NVMe SSD and bridge instead of the older SATA protocol. WD claims to have read and write speeds of 1050 Mbit / s and 1000 Mbit / s respectively – just like the Samsung SSD T7 Touch and in line with the Sandisk Extreme Pro. You need a PC with a USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gbit / s) or Thunderbolt 3 port to use this speed.
The new My Passport SSD (2020) is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities and officially costs Rs. 8,999, Rs. 15,999 and Rs. 28,999. They are exclusive to Amazon during the festive sales season and actual prices are significantly lower. They will be available offline from mid-November.
WD has implemented 256-bit AES hardware encryption. The company offers a ton of free software that you can download, including the powerful Drive Utilities for general maintenance, WD Backup for setting up simple backup routines, and WD Security for setting up encryption with a password. You will also be prompted to install WD Discovery. This is completely unnecessary and is only used to serve ads and promotions for WD.
The 1TB test device we’re testing today was formatted with exFAT by default. This works across platforms. However, if you want to use Time Machine on a Mac, you’ll need to reformat the drive to HFS + (or at least partition and format part of it). Windows Disk Management Console reported 931.48 GB of usable space.
All tests were run on an HP Specter x360 13 laptop due to the Thunderbolt 3 ports. CrystalDiskMark 6 reported sequential read and write speeds of 913.9 Mbit / s and 924.9 Mbit / s, respectively, which is not too far below WD’s official claim. More realistic random read and write speeds were 154.1 Mbps and 163.8 Mbps, respectively. The results of the My Passport SSD (2020) are good for portable SSD standards, but they are far behind the results of the Samsung SSD T7 Touch and SanDisk Extreme Pro. The Anvil benchmark managed read and write scores of 2,186.6 and 1,921.12, for a total of 4,107.72.
The WD My Passport SSD (2020) shell got quite warm when running benchmarks and copying large batches of files up and down during testing. This shouldn’t be a huge problem in everyday use, and nothing else to complain about.
If you like bold, edgy design and products that make a statement, the new WD My Passport might be a bit of a letdown. It looks modest and pedestrian compared to its predecessor; more like a bar of soap than a high end tech product. Perhaps this is a sign that portable SSDs are not just lifestyle accessories for those who can still afford them, but have now become one of the most popular commodity products.
The emerging new class of portable NVMe SSDs is almost twice the speed of previous generation SATA models. Samsung still has the performance advantage, but WD isn’t far behind now. Speed aside, you should choose your SSD based on whether you are prioritizing features like AES encryption and ruggedization. SSDs are also routinely discounted under their official MRPs. So if you find a lot on the WD My Passport SSD (2020) and it suits your needs, don’t hesitate to pick one up.
WD My Passport SSD (2020)
Rs. 6,999 (500 GB)
Rs. 12,999 (1 TB)
Rs. 24,999 (2TB)