WD My Passport Slim available by November 2013

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WD, one of Western Digital companies, has added a new contender on its premium hard disk lineup, the My Passport Slim. The product, along with some of its key features were introduced during yesterday’s press conference at SM North EDSA. This will have to be the first thin drives to offer a 2 TB capacity and  256-bit hardware-based encryption in a metal enclosure.

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My Passport Slim measures at 4.33 x 3.14 x 0.48 inches, and is available at 1TB and 2 TB capacities. This is very slim; think of it as a quadruple sandwich deck goodness compressed into a single bread slice. I’m looking at my bulky 1 TB hard drive right now, and this makes me realize how far technology has gone when it comes to compressing millions of bits of data into the palm of our hand.

Thin is not the sole advantage of My Passport Slim. WD SmartWare Pro data protection software is also included, which allows users to back up their important files not only in the My Passport Slim, but also to their Dropbox account. In the same manner, users can back up their Dropbox account to the My Passport Slim. This is actually pretty interesting, as how most hard drives available in the market now include cloud sync features, and considering how easily accessible Dropbox is across mobile devices, this lets users access their uploaded files on the go.

One concern about this though is whether My Passport Slim will be giving additional Dropbox space for purchasers. If I am a video editor interested in getting this one, chances are, there will be tons of files that I’m hoping to get uploaded to Dropbox. During the presscon, we asked if there will be any free additional Dropbox space, but unfortunately, there will be none.

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And finally, one of the big additions to the enclosure, is the added ability to encrypt your files on the fly with a built-in encryption module installed in the device. This allows you secure your files in the eventuality that you lose your disk or leave it in the office. This is great for securing sensitive industry files, such as R&D for new products or internal financial reports. This beats the hell out of encrypting your disk with Truecrypt, a free and open-sourced solution for disk encryption. It is still unclear whether you can change the encryption algorithm on the module; the reps during the conference stressed that you cannot make changes to the algorithm, but set to a ‘standard military grade’ algorithm for encryption. Which can only mean that they used AES encryption algorithm and SHA-512 for Hash for the module (I personally use a different one, which is a combination: Serpent + Twofish + AES for encrypt and then SHA-512 for hash). Though it can be overkill, leaving this setting open for the user should be an option in the end product.

The drive is set for release on the second week of November 2013. And a sample unit will be sent in by next week– we should be able to give you a review of the drive’s features by then.

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