Western Digital (WD) announced that it has redesigned its popular My Passport Ultra (opens in new tab) and My Passport for Mac (opens in new tab) external drives. The big news here is that not only do these drives come in four colors, but they now offer storage capacities of up to 3 TB. They're available now at WD's online store (opens in new tab) and other e-tailers including Amazon (opens in new tab).
The updated drives connect to a PC or Mac by way of USB 3.0, meaning possible data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gb/s. They also provide 256-bit hardware-based AES encryption and allow users to set a password to keep their personal files and photos safe from prying eyes. Unlike software solutions, hardware encryption does not affect the performance of the drive.
As for the spiffy colors, the Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac come in Classic Black, Brilliant White, Noble Blue and Wild Berry. To complement these colors, WD also introduced the WD Grip Pack accessory for the My Passport Ultra, a phone-case type cover that protects the drive and makes it easier to grip. These come in Smoke, Slate, Grape, Sky and Fuchsia colors and also include an 18-inch flat USB 3.0 cable of the same color.
The My Passport Ultra is formatted in NTFS for the Windows Vista/7/8 operating systems, whereas the My Passport for Mac is formatted to be compatible with Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite. Both measure 3.21 x 4.33 x 0.62 inches, making them easy to stuff in a pocket or purse.
"The latest generation My Passport drives deliver an easier automatic back-up experience, hardware-based encryption for security and higher capacities than ever before. Consumers can keep all their content in their pockets, while expressing their personal styles with the colors and WD Grip Pack," said Tony Tate, general manager and vice president of Content Storage Solutions at WD.
The revamped My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac external drives are available now on WD's online store, costing a not-too-shabby $79.99 for the 500 GB model (My Passport Ultra only), $99.99 for the 1 TB model, $129.99 for the 2 TB model and $199.99 for the 3 TB model. The WD Grip Pack accessory won't be available until June, when it will cost a mere $12.99.
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The 4 platter 2.5" drives, according to specs, seem to not overdo the power limitations of USB2 so it'll probably work fine on USB2. But this is what, 5 platters, 600GB/platter? I'd still assume it'll work in USB2