We love these little drives. They're nice and small, quiet and don't require an external power supply. In fact, that's probably our favorite thing about the Passport Essential line. Also, we found this drive popped up nice and fast compared to other drives we tested in this price range.  We tested it on a variety of desktops and laptops running XP and Vista and never encountered any problems, just rock solid and fast performance.  We even dropped it a few times to no effect.

Performance wise, these drives are a little poky. For moving large amounts of data between systems or backing up files they work great. However, If you have an application that requires fast access and high throughput you'll need to copy the files from Passport drive to your main system for the best performance.

We used the Passport primarily to move audio and video files between remote systems when FTP would simply take too long. We simply kept the PC with a laptop and took it everywhere the laptop went. Every PC we plugged it into recognized the drive quickly. We never experienced any strange behavior such as the drive going offline or requiring a reboot like we have with some other external drives.

It's hard to get excited about the design as something as mundane as a hard drive but we have to say we really like the way the Passport Essential looks and feels. The color palette is very nice and the finish on the case makes it feel more expensive than it is.

If you're thinking about getting an external drive to backup files and what something small and portable we highly recommend the Passport Essential seires. It's competitively prices and backed by an industry leader. What more do you want?

Visit Western Digital for more information about portable drives.