Western Digital Corp. has announced its first portable storage solution featuring Thunderbolt interconnection. The My Passport Pro dual-drive storage device has user-selectable RAID functionality to deliver needed performance or reliability for the most demanding applications in the field, without the need for power adapters or extra cables.
WD MyPassport Pro is available in 2TB or 4TB capacities and incorporates two 2.5” hard disk drives. Unlike some competing solutions, the MyPassport Pro lets users choose data striping (RAID 0) for high performance or mirroring (RAID 1) for data redundancy, which allows it to address different needs of different users. The external storage is powered using the Thunderbolt cable.
According to WD, maximum read/write performance of the MyPassport Pro is 233MB/s, which is a lot for a hard-drive (and is below what even the low-cost solid-state drives can offer). However, it is well below the speed the Thunderbolt interconnection can provide (up to 800MB/s). Therefore, it is not completely clear why WD decided to use the TB interface instead of USB 3.0 that is available more widely.
My Passport Pro will be available immediately at Apple and major consumer electronics retailers and e-tailers as well as online. Pricing for the 2TB My Passport Pro is $299.99 (£179) and the 4TB model is $429.99 (£259).
KitGuru Says: The WD My Passport Pro external storage solution seems to be a decent portable device, which could ensure either high performance or maximum reliability. Its main drawback is, ironically, its main feature: the Thunderbolt interconnection. The latter is a fast, easy to use and reliable technology, but it is not yet widely available. As a result, the WD My Passport Pro is incompatible with loads of PCs that feature USB 3.0, but do not sport Thunderbolt. Moreover, with 233MB/s maximum bandwidth, the Thunderbolt is simply not needed for the WD My Passport Pro.