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Western Digital Passport 80GB External USB2.0 HDD

2.5" Portsable HDD
4th August 2005
Manufacured By
Supplied By
£103.76 inc. VAT

A Closer Look :::...

Those of you with a packaging fetish will be upset to hear I have no pictures of the box on this occasion. A huge carrier label slapped right on the front kind of distracted from the overall design flair so let me just fill in the basics. The box is fairly compact at just 7.5 x 6 x 3 inches. Inside, the drive sits nestled inside a 2-piece molded tray that keeps it securely in place but does little to absorb shock.

As it happens WD aren't too worried about shock (within reason) thanks to ShockGuard, a WD technology that they claim can protect the internal platter surfaces and mechanism from shock forces of around 250Gs when operating and 900Gs when stationary. As a very rough guide, a car crash at 30MPH creates about 40 to 50 Gs

Inside the box the contents are minimal, but they would be really. Naturally you get the Digital Passport drive itself, then there's also a USB data cable with a regular type-A connector one end and a mini-B type connector on the other. A quick installation guide is also included.



The drive itself looks incredibly sleek. The WD logo is pressed into what appears to be a mixed alloy casing that does surprisingly well at not showing finger prints, while at the same time offering great protection to the valuable cargo.

The Digital Passport


The underside and two of the edges are given added protection from a thick, rubberised armour, though just as the bread always lands butter side down you can bet that when you drop your Passport it''' land on an alloy edge and not a rubberised one.

The Digital Passport - Underside


With barely a sharp edge in sight you'll either low or loathe the design. I didn't like it at first, probably because of the current trend for square, retro-styled slabs, but it's growing on me over time. I might have had a harder time developing an affection for the design had WD used cheaper materials but it's so curved and tactile it's hard to dislike it for long.

A single blue LED serves to indicate power by illuminating at low intensity then doubles up in displaying drive activity by flashing at a brighter level. It could be argued that dual LEDS or a single, dual-colour LED would be preferable but the single LED serves its purpose well.

The Digital Passport - Side View


The bottom end of the drive is entirely plain.

The Digital Passport - End View


The top end of the drive features a rubber panel behind which, protected from the dust and, to some extent, moisture, the two main connectors lurk.

The Digital Passport - End View - Connector Cover


The +5v DC connector is to supply an additional power feed if for some reason your USB port isn't able to do so. The necessary power transformer is an optional extra and isn't supplied as standard.

Alongside the power connector is the mini-B USB socket for the USB2.0 certified data cable. Under normal circumstances this cable provides all the drive's power requirements.

The Digital Passport - End View - Connectors


The Digital Passport - Connectors



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