WD’s latest external drive combines a lot of features that are probably too much for what most people are looking for in a storage device.
It’s a whopping 4TB, for one thing, and uses two drives combined into a single RAID 0 array. In that respect, it’s not too dissimilar Seagate’s Backup Plus Fast, reviewed in our Briefs.
But what really sets it apart, and offers a hint at the market segment it’s very firmly aimed at, is its dedicated Thunderbolt connectivity.
This is also what ups its price to nearly $600. But for that asking price, you get just about the fastest, and most cleverly designed, external drives in the market.
If you’re wondering who it is aimed at, the fancy magnetic packaging and brushed aluminium case should be a giveaway – the Passport Pro is for high-end Mac-users. In fact, WD’s own press collateral on the drive is filled with images of intrepid photographers off in the wilds, with serious DSLRs and accompanying Mac hardware. And in that usage scenario, the Pro is glorious. It’s small and bus-powered, which cuts down a lot on weight and space. The attached cable also slots into an integral slot around the case, which keeps cabling safe and secure. The design even makes it look like a part of your machine.
And it performs like the clappers. Copying even giant RAW files is a breeze, and even editing files in Adobe Lightroom that are still on the drive is a lag-free experience – which we cannot say even for USB 3.0 external drives. It’s ruggedly designed, though the small fan that keeps the drives relatively cool can get whiny at times, but not for long.
Otherwise, this is an easy drive to like. As we said, if you just want an external backup, or something to carry around media files on, it’s overkill. But if you find yourself working with serious file-sizes, you’re going to love the responsiveness of the Passport Pro.
WD delivers an ultra-luxe Thunderbolt drive which is perfect – for high-end users, at least. Read the review.