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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  • Zak - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Awful. Looks like two boxes glued together. Absolutely ugly. I would not buy this even at 50% discount.
  • Samus - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    I've been using these for the better part of a year around offices, and they look better IRL and are built really well. Definitely preferable over Seagate.
  • Zak - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    I own 6 WD Passports of various capacities. The old design, smooth surface, I even have one red one. These new ones are really ugly. I guess they hired the same team who designed Pontiac Aztec?
  • plopke - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Ì am a very boring person when it comes styling etc. I understand many people like a nice design but I am just not getting this one. Anyone who likes these 50/50 design, just curious.
  • meacupla - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    "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."

    It says right there in one of the slides."1TB / 13.5mm and 2,3,4TB / 21.5mm"
    And if you go back and look at the older models that also had a 4TB version, they have similar enclosure sizes, so it's easy to deduce what is inside the drives.
    1TB in older models is approximately 9mm tall, while the 2,3,4TB is approximately 18mm tall

    Not that it really matters anyways, because WD externals don't have a SATA port and, instead, have had USB controllers built right into the drive's PCB for a long time now. There is no point disassembling them to try and use in other things.
  • Maltz - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    I didn't know that about the lack of SATA port - and I have two of these! (The older design) That's the sort of low-level detail I come here for, but I would prefer to find it in the article rather than the comments. Especially since the article is talking about the internals in the first place.
  • Zak - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Most of these from all vendors do not have internal SATA. USB interface is built into drive directly. They're also slower. Notice how much cheaper these are than SATA model of the same capacity.'
  • DCide - Saturday, July 1, 2017 - link

    Like Seagate, WD makes 7mm 1TB drives. And they have long produced 2GB and larger capacities in 15mm 2.5" drives.

    It's reasonable to conclude each enclosure adds 6.5mm to the thickness. This seems neither mysterious, nor does it require them to be producing new, heretofore unknown sizes.

    As to whether the drives are PMR or SMR, this information is harder to find. While the 15mm drives may be PMR, as I *believe* they always have been, I wouldn't bet against the 7mm drive being SMR, such as Seagate has done.
  • WinterCharm - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    A perfect example of needlessly gaudy design.

    Keep it simple and clean... how hard is that?
  • darwinosx - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - link

    Needs a 5 GB option and the case is ugly. I don't want to draw attention to a hard drive..

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