Western Digital is known for its hard drives — particularly the cheap and portable My Passport line of external hard drives that are almost a ubiquitous standard for anyone looking to back up their computer on a budget.
But apparently, the company has never actually released a portable solid state drive, something Western Digital is correcting now with the release of the new My Passport SSD. As you might be able to guess from the name, the My Passport SSD takes the look of the recently redesigned My Passport hard drives and shrinks it down by replacing the magnetic drive with a solid state one that can transfer data at up to 515 MB/s.
It’s not a surprising move, given that Western Digital acquired SanDisk last year for the purpose of expanding its business into solid state storage (something its already started to do with the release of internal SSDs). And the My Passport SSD particularly makes sense in a market where competitors like Seagate and LaCie already offer external solid state drives.
But the My Passport SSD doesn’t just offer a faster and more durable drive. Western Digital is also upgrading the port situation, replacing the long-lived USB 3.0 Micro B port, that’s been typically found on external hard drives, for a USB-C port. (It will also come with a USB Type-A adaptor in the box for anyone who has yet to make the jump to the new port standard.)
The My Passport SSD will be available in three sizes: 1TB for $399.99, 512GB for $199.99, and 256GB for $99.99; they are available to purchase today. Those are pretty good prices for external SSDs, although they’re still dramatically more expensive than an external hard drive (for example, a 2TB My Passport hard drive costs just $79.99).