February 27, 2014

Unboxing & Review: Western Digital My Passport Slim

By: Low Chern Lin

Portable hard drives has been one of the most important equipment around especially for those who needs carry large amount of data around and thumbdrives is just not the solution to go for. Western Digital has been a familiar brand when it comes to portable hard drives and it has been one of the most recommended brand around. Known for exceptionally well built quality, decent transfer speed and portability, WD Elements PortableMy Passport UltraMy Passport Slim are among the best portable hard drive you can get from Western Digital.  

We're lucky enough to be able to get our hands on one of the latest portable hard drive from Western Digital, great thanks to Western Digital Malaysia for providing us their My Passport Slim 2TB to made this review possible.

Technical Specification

Warranty3-year Limited Warranty
Dimension110mm x 18mm x 80mm
ColorSilver only
InterfaceUSB 2.0 ( 480mbit / s)
USB 3.0 (5G / s)
Capacity2 TB
TemperatureOperating: 5°C to 35°C
Non-operating: -40°C to 60°C
CompatibilityWindows / Mac
FeaturesWD SmartWare Pro
WD SmartWare
Automatic backup
Cloud backup
Password protection
Hardware encryption


The packaging looks great as the details on features offered are well presented as most people would get the information at first sight on the small icons.

The back of the packaging shows that Dropbox is the cloud storage used for the mentioned cloud backup at front.

Right out of the box is the My Passport Slim portable hard drive that comes with a full anodized metal enclosure. This benefits those who often carry their portable hard drive in their pockets, as you won't be getting a cracked hard drive enclosure even if you have it placed at the back pocket of your pants and accidentally sit on it. Great approach by Western Digital we'd say!

The portable hard drive comes with a USB 3.0 interface for faster transfer speed if your laptop or desktop supports USB 3.0 interface. It's USB 2.0 compatible as well so there's nothing to worry about not being able to share your files to older generation laptop or desktop that supports up to USB 2.0 at most.

The included accessories are quite common for Western Digital portable drive nowadays - USB 3.0 cable for your portable hard drive and user's guide and a pouch for your portable hard drive. 

The pouch is rather thin and the only protection you'll get is protection from minor scratches.

Transfer Speed

A quick test is done to measure the reading and writing speed for the Western Digital My Passport Slim 2TB using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2.

USB 2.0 Read/Write Speed

USB 3.0 Read/Write Speed
Both read/write speed for USB 3.0 stays above 100 MB/s and it's almost 4 times faster than the read/write speed on USB 2.0. If you've been experiencing slow transfer under USB 2.0 and eager to upgrade to something which is much faster, here's the My Passport Slim portable hard drive to be added to your consider-to-buy list.

If you're seeing the available capacity 1.81 TB rather than the advertised 2.0 TB, don't get upset as there's an explanation for this - click here to find out more. 


There's 3 software that comes along with the portable drive: 

WD Drive Utilities

Diagnostics allows you to perform test on your drive for potential failure, especially bad sectors that could be fatal to your precious data.

The Sleep Timer allows you to put your hard drive to sleep mode if it's being idle for a period of time, great for preserving the longevity of your portable drive as it's not mean't for 24/7 at the first place.

The Drive Erase allows you to erase your entire hard drive, meaning that you will lost all data stored on the drive and you should be extra careful with this function.

The Registration allows you to register your product and obtain notification for software update and customer support. You are encouraged to register your product upon purchase as you as the product owner get the benefits from it.

WD Security

The WD Security is another utility that comes with the hard drive. It allows you apply password protection to secure your data from being access by unintended party. 

There are option for you to remove the password protection, auto unlock and change password   that is applied to the hard drive, but you can only perform either of these action with the correct password entered.

Failure in remembering your password is fatal - to your data. You should always remember your password as losing your password is equivalent to losing all the data stored within the hard drive.

Upon successful applying the password protection, this is what you will be prompted before being able to access to the hard drive.

WD SmartWare

The WD SmartWare is a data backup utility for Western Digital drives that allows you to manage your data backup easily thanks to the clean and user friendly interface. There's several option at the Home tab that you can choose for:
  • Local drive > My Passport Slim
  • Local drive > Dropbox
  • My Passport Slim > Dropbox
  • Dropbox > My Passport Slim

In order to use the backup to Dropbox option, you will need to upgrade your WD SmartWare to WD SmartWare Pro - you're given 3 times limited activation without any extra charges. 

You're required to login to your Dropbox account to complete this setup and this is what you will be prompted upon successful setup.

Proceed to the Backup tab to configure your data backup and the SmartWare will automatically categorize your files for you to backup - Category Backup is the default settings for first time launch. 

You can opt for File Backup to select a specific files instead of backing up the all the files that falls into the same category, very convenient option that comes in handy in the time of need.

You can backup your files to Dropbox as well but there's a limited space if you're on a free account. Upgrade is necessary if you wish to increase the storage capacity of your Dropbox account, with a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. 

Upon successful backup, you get a blue colored check mark on both sides that indicates a successful backup.

If you have sensitive data that has to be backed up frequently, you can select the Set Backup Frequency option to setup a schedule for your data backup based on the following choices:
  • Continuous Backup - SmartWare will monitor for changes on designated files and perform backup if changes detected.
  • Scheduled Backup - The common backup we've seen today, where backup is performed on the time selected.

To retrieve backup files, simple go to the Retrieve tab to select your destination for file retrieval and click next.

 You can select to either retrieve the backup files to the original location where the files is backed up from, or just to retrieve the backup files to a single designated folder.

At the final step, there's choices for you to either retrieve all files or just certain specified files. After your choices has been decided, simply click on the Start Retrieving button to retrieve your files.

Upon completion, you will be prompted with a blue check mark on both sides, indicating that your files has been retrieved successfully. 

The Settings tab allows you to perform the following actions:

File History - To set the numbers of backup version to keep for each files, good to prevent bad files from overriding the good copy.

Retrieve Folder - Modify the destination for file retrieve function in the Retrieve tab.

Software Update - Optional, whether to notify you if there's any updates for WD SmartWare.

Dropbox Account - To modify or add Dropbox account for the backup to Dropbox function.

The Help tab contains most information you will be needing if you encounter any technical issues with your Western Digital My Passport portable drive. 

Final Thoughts

The Western Digital My Passport Slim might not be as slim as its name, but its built quality and the included software are things that really worth looking at.

- Full metal enclosure to ensure best protection to the components inside
- High capacity and USB powered
- Fairly decent read/write speed under USB 3.0
- A pouch is included keep your drive in it
- Excellent included software, very straight forward and user friendly interface

- The pouch is extremely thin, only protect hard drive against minor scratches
- Only available in 1 color
- Costly, 475 Malaysian Ringgit each

It might not be the fastest portable hard drive around and doesn't comes with a nice pouch, but it's definitely a quality product that we would recommend, especially for those who seeks for a really solid portable hard drive  that has a decent transfer speed.