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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  • HomeworldFound - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    You should also consider that these drives might be automatically encrypted/protected too.
  • Zak - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    1) Yup
    2) Most 2.5" USB drives I've seen use this type of connector.
    3) Yup. But I guess they're cheaper because of that.
  • Zak - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Although to clarify: there is no "USB connector". It's built into the drive the way SATA is built into drives. So you could say the same about SATA drive: if the SATA board dies, so does your data.
  • fazalmajid - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    The design is an acquired taste but AFAIK this is the first 4TB USB bus-powered drive with an all-metal case for better heat dissipation and drive durability. I wish they had followed Samsung's lead and used USB-C on the drive.
  • serendip - Friday, June 30, 2017 - link

    Do these work with tablets or phones that can only supply 500 mA? The only way I can get external HDDs to power up properly with these is to use a powered hub. I'd like to go superlight and travel with just an Android phone and one of these drives.
  • snowdrop - Sunday, July 2, 2017 - link

    The biggest change here seems to be the 1TB model moving from a 2*500GB platter design to a 1*1TB platter design. The existing 1TB non-Ultra is 170g / 16.3mm height. The new 1TB Ultra is 140g / 13.5mm height.

    The 2/3/4 TB models all appear to remain complex 4 platter designs with identical heights / weights to the non-Ultra versions. This should mean that the 1TB and 4TB Ultra models (featuring the largest platters) will be the fastest drives in this series. It should also mean that the 1TB Ultra models with only 1/4 the surfaces and read/write heads of the other models will have the best reliability.

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