Western Digital this week refreshed its My Passport Ultra lineup of small form-factor external HDDs. The new hard drives use a new enclosure and come with software that backs up data not only from local PCs, but also from social networks and cloud services. As for capacity and interfaces, the new HDDs continue to offer up to 4 TB of storage space and utilize a USB 3.0 interface.

The new WD My Passport Ultra external HDDs come in a new metallic enclosure with metallic and matte black gray or white gold finishes that mimics design of other external storage devices by the company. The 1 TB drive uses a thinner enclosure that measures 13.5 mm (0.53”), whereas the models with 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB capacities are 21.5 mm (0.85”) thick.

Apart from the new enclosure, the new HDDs feature automatic WD Backup software for local data and content, as well as the company’s new WD Discovery software that backs up users’ data from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and Google Drive. By using both software suites, users can consolidate their data from different sources on a single device. Meanwhile, to protect the data, Western Digital offers its WD Backup software that relies on AES-256 hardware encryption.

Western Digital is not disclosing whether they're using PMR or SMR technology on the hard drives contained within. Nor are we able to accurately guess the number of platters in the drives, as the thickness of the external enclosures means it's impossible to determine whether the company is using 2.5”/12.5 mm or 2.5”/15 mm HDDs.

List of WD’s 2017 My Passport Ultra Drives
Capacity   Model Dimensions
Interface Compatibility Color
4 TB WDBFKT0040BGD-WESN 110×81.5×21.5 mm
4.33×3.21×0.85 inch
Windows 7, 8.1, 10.

Requires formatting
for other OSes.
3 TB WDBFKT0030BGY-WESN Black-Gray
2 TB WDBFKT0020BGY-WESN Black-Gray
1 TB WDBTLG0010BGY-WESN 110×81.5×13.5 mm
4.33×3.21×0.53 inch

Just like their predecessors, the new Western Digital My Passport Ultra drives are covered by a three-year limited warranty. The new drives are available from wd.com as well as from select retailers around the world. The most affordable 1 TB version costs $79.99, whereas the highest-capacity SKU is available for $139.99, which is $20 lower than the My Passport Ultra HDD 4 TB released a year ago.

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Source: Western Digital

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  • inighthawki - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Woah man, with that kind of storage space you'd only need like 10 of them to install a new game!
  • name99 - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    "the new HDDs feature automatic WD Backup software for local data and content"
    Serious question here, I'm not trying to start a fight, but what do these HD vendors imagine they are achieving by including this backup SW?

    I assume it's Windows only, and doesn't Windows HAVE built-in backup SW? They've had ten years or so to copy Time Machine, and while what MS ships may not be perfect, I assume it's adequate for most people's needs.
    So what is going on here? Is there some deep flaw in Windows' built-in Backup SW that makes it useless for large groups of users?
  • XZerg - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    so many things wrong with these drives:
    1) ugly - 2 box glued together
    2) usb micro b connection - who uses these? they never even hit 5% marketshare. so why does WD insist on using these instead of just plain old usbA or it's 2017 and why not use usb c?
    3) no sata port - if usb connector dies so does your data per se...
  • name99 - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Fully agree about the micro-b. God I hate that connector with the fire of a thousand suns.

    Normal USB may not be symmetric, but you can do an adequate job of plugging it in just by feel. But micro-usb is like brain-surgery, where you have to carefully look at both sides and line them up because it feels like getting anything slightly wrong and applying force will bend something fatally.

    And what PROBLEM is being solved by using this stupid connector on a hard drive?
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    If I'm not mistaken, when USB was originally defined the thinking was having different shaped connectors for hosts vs devices would be better for customers to avoid confusion. Hence, USB Type A and derivatives for host and USB Type B and derivatives for devices. So putting a USB Type A port on a external hard drive would technically be a non-standard usage.

    Of course, now the thinking has reversed, and it's thought having the same connector for host and device is less confusing to customers, hence USB Type-C.
  • name99 - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Can anyone explain this to me? I've read it multiple times and it still sounds like the most stupid argument in the history of humanity.
    WTF is there to be confused about? OMG, which of the two IDENTICAL ends of this cable should I plug into the computer vs the hard drive? How can I possibly solve this baffling mystery.

    Firewire (with identical ends) had already be in production (let alone design) in two years at the point this decision was made. So I honestly don't know. The person who suggested it really seems like an idiot beyond all understanding.
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 30, 2017 - link

    The idea being that this way you can't plug hosts into hosts, or clients into clients. The only way you can plug something in is in a way it would work.
  • name99 - Friday, June 30, 2017 - link

    But why NOT plug hosts into hosts? FW allows that (and so gives you high-speed networking, or Apple target disk mode)? Works just fine, provides real value.

    Point is, make the controllers and the drivers smarter to handle these scenarios, don't cripple everything. This is why some of us have so much scorn for the Wintel world --- at EVERY step, they seem blind to new possibilities, or too lazy to do a job properly.
    USB has been a screwup ever since its inception because those in charge of it are idiots. Even TODAY we have all the various flavors of USB3, all the different capabilities of USB-C ports.
  • Tams80 - Friday, July 7, 2017 - link

    They should have designed USB to be able to do host-host. They didn't though and therefore they had to design the physical interface so you couldn't, as to do so without a controller in the cable...
  • PixyMisa - Sunday, July 2, 2017 - link

    Firewire could do that; USB couldn't. If you plugged two hosts together with USB, you could blow a fuse, possibly damage the motherboard. So you needed different connectors.

    Firewire was a better standard, but USB was cheaper.

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