Storage company Western Digital has been selling USB hard drives for years. But the company’s a bit of a latecomer to the portable solid state drive space.

Now Western Digital is making up for lost time with the introduction of a tiny, speedy SSD that’s available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities.

The WD My Passport SSD offers data speeds up to 515MB per second, making it a lot faster than the company’s portable hard drives. And at just 3.5″ x 1.8″ x 0.4″ it’s also a lot smaller.

Western Digital says the new SSD is also more durable: it can withstand a 2 meter fall (about 6.5 feet) and the drive comes with a limited 3 year warranty.

It features a USB 3.1 Type-C port with support for 10GB/s connections. But there’s also a USB Type-A adapter for folks that want to use the drive with a computer that may not have a USB-C connector.

Western Digital charges $100 for the 256GB model, $200 for the 512GB version, and $400 for a 1TB My Passport SSD.

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8 replies on “Western Digital’s first portable SSD sells for $100 and up”

  1. I can see some professional use-cases for something like this. Its the difference between being able to work on files while they are presently ON a usb drive, and not being able to. Anyone who has tried to edit Photos/video/CAD while on a USB drive will know what I’m talking about.

    For us average consumers, you would have to see value in the additional performance. Sure its 2 or 4 times faster than most thumb drives, to me it isn’t 2 or 4 times as useful.

    I’ll put the cost-per-performance into perspective:

    An average 256gb USB thumb-drive goes for around $60-90. Some of the more high performance models of those 256gb thumb drives can do around 120-185MB/s data transfer.

    So on average, this product is about 2-4 times faster than an equally sized Thumb drive, and only about 1.1 to 1.6 times more expensive.

    1. Having had to emergency-copy a 40GB virtual machine during an expo, I may not use the speed day to day but it’ll definitely come in handy some time. Unfortunately on that day I won’t be in a position to leave a positive review.

    2. Sequential performance is not the only measurement of value. What if you wanted to run an OS off of it? What about reliability? Are there any external SSDs with TRIM ability?

        1. Yeah. I’d wager that barely 1 in 100 of those external drives will be used in situations where the lack of TRIM features is a serious concern.

          1. Very true, Tactius. However, the first thing I thought of as a use case for this was a portable install of a Linux distro such as one of the Buntus or Linux Mint. If it even comes close to 515Mb/s in real-world use scenarios I can see a portable Linux install also capable of saving large files being quite convenient for those traveling or working at multiple offices.

    1. Not for the vast majority of typical external SSD use cases. As for your question — does USB support TRIM?

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