Miscellaneous Aspects and Concluding Remarks

Battery life is an important aspect for wireless storage devices. Western Digital claims up to 10 hours of run-time on the battery for pure HD video streaming from the internal drive. However, usage of additional USB devices or SD cards and/or using the device as a Wi-Fi access point with uplink to another network may bring down the claimed best case numbers. To get a better idea of the actual power needed to keep the internals running, we connected the drive and its charger to a Ubiquiti mFi mPower unit. In the first pass, we recharged the battery from 0 to 100%. The graph below shows the power consumption at the wall for this process. It is close to 12W for more than 2 hours to get the unit back to full charge.

Power consumption (bus power) was recorded using the Plugable USBC-TKEY while operating the unit in DAS mode. This routine was processed for both CrystalDiskMark and the AnandTech DAS Suite.

In the traditional CrystalDiskMark benchmarks, the power consumption never goes beyond the bus limit. However there are spikes of more than 7W in the DAS Suite workload. Given the presence of an internal battery, this is not much of a concern.

Coming to the business end of the review, it is clear that Western Digital continues to differentiate itself in the crowded wireless storage market. The addition of 802.11ac support, and the continued targeting of content creators as well as consumers (with features such as Plex and support for external storage devices formatted in exFAT) are welcome aspects. The experience with the My Passport Wireless Pro was positive overall. The only quibble we have is that the WLAN radios are both 1x1 configurations. Having 2x2 radios could provide better performance. It is not outside the scope for such products, since the first generation unit did come with a 2x2 802.11n WLAN adapter.

In other related news, Western Digital is also launching new 2-bay and 4-bay NAS units in the My Cloud Pro Series. These utilize the Braswell Pentium N3710, and the internal Quick Sync engine can transcode up to four streas for simultaneous streaming. Integration of Adobe Creative Cloud further strengthens WD's market positioning for the Pro series products.

The My Passport Wireless Pro has a MSRP of $230 for the 2TB model and $250 for the 3TB one, and comes with a 2-year warranty. Street prices seem to be around $190 and $220 for the two models. The PR2100 and PR4100 MSRPs start at $400 and go up to $1650 depending on the exact storage configuration. Diskless models come with a 2-year warranty, while the populated models come with a 3-year warranty.

Wireless Benchmarks
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - link

    There ARE portable mini routers (sized like a pack of cards or smaller) with very similar functionality (card reader, battery, hotspot, etc) and a USB port unto which you can hook up any portable drive.
  • marvdmartian - Thursday, June 23, 2016 - link

    That's true. But for travel purposes, I'd rather have it all in one unit. Drop a hdd or ssd in there, and you're good to go, AND it's taking up less space in the carry-on bag. Space and weight are a premium, these days, if you're flying.
  • mr_tawan - Sunday, June 26, 2016 - link

    I saw some Chinese-made system with OpenWRT. Haven't tried but I expected to be better than WD :).
  • Huppie76 - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Hi. Is possible to putt a ssd into this device? How did you open it? Is it hard to open it?

    Tenx for the good review
  • windz - Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - link

    Having the Plex media server in a portable Wi-Fi drive is bad ass. Finally I can stream all my MKV to my iPad Pro on the road.
  • ravedog - Friday, June 24, 2016 - link

    I don't think you mkvs will work in the iPad. The unit does not do any transcoding only straight thru playing. So the device doing the playback has to support mkv which I'm fault certain the iPad might not. (Unless there was a way to pipe the files into Vlc or infuse.)
  • HanaAndHerSistersTech - Thursday, June 23, 2016 - link

    Pass. Had two WD external USB drives die out in past six months, they were only a year old. Going to HGST now.
  • Phynaz - Friday, June 24, 2016 - link

    This thing will operate as a Plex media server, right? Why wasn't that aspect reviewed?
  • wossman - Saturday, June 25, 2016 - link

    I had the 2014 2TB model (before I accidentally dropped in onto my toes from about 2.5 feet and it never worked again) and the thing that frustrated me most about using it in DAS mode (which I did most often) was how quickly the drive would spin down. It seems like it would sleep after as little as 2 minutes of inactivity or less. And it took its own sweet time spinning up again, during which time most Windows 8.1 systems would lock up the UI of the app trying to access the drive.

    I searched high and low for a utility that would let me change the sleep timer of the drive but I never found one. Otherwise, the drive was fine. I'd only try this new version if I know that issue's been fixed or someone can recommend a way of changing the timer to something I prefer. I'm fine with the drop in battery life that would come with the change.
  • mr_tawan - Sunday, June 26, 2016 - link

    I think they are Green drives, so that's normal. I think WD Green are re-branded as Blue now though.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now