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Western Digital My Passport Edge 500GB preview: External USB 3.0 hard disk

The arrival of Windows 8 (opens in new tab) is bringing all kinds of special products out of the woodwork - even hard drives. One of these is the Western Digital My Passport Edge, a 500GB external hard disk with dedicated Windows 8 features.

The WD My Passport Edge comes in one size and one colour, which is 500GB in silver grey with black sides. It's nicely designed and fairly small, measuring 8.2 x 11.1 x 1.23cm (including the legs) and weighing 136g. That's small enough to fit inside your pocket. The included cable is a bit on the short side, not even measuring 50cm.

If your computer has USB 3.0, the disk can achieve read and write speeds of more than 80MB/s. If you're limited to USB 2.0, then the maximum is around 30 MB/s. You can see all of the test results by clicking on this link (opens in new tab). Here you can see that the performance of the My Passport Edge is reasonable, but that there are faster external hard disks out there.

The WD My Passport Edge comes with tons of software, including WD SmartWare, a back-up package, WD Drive Utilities, and WD Security, which let's you password protect the disk. WD Quick View allows you to quickly see the status of the disk. In Utilities you're able to adjust how long the disk will wait until it enters sleep mode.

When you connect the Western Digital My Passport Edge on a Windows 8 computer, it's immediately recognised. After it has finished installing the drivers, an app is added to the Windows 8 start screen. This WD app offers an overview of all your media files, and it's possible to play video, music and view photos directly. If the disk is quite full, it does take a little while before it's fully indexed. You can read the rest of Western Digital My Passport Edge 500GB preview on (opens in new tab).