Ratings in depth
Design 4
Features 4
Performance 4
Usability 4
Value 4

Portability seems to be ever more important to creative pros, with powerful laptops such as the MacBook Pro with Retina display, HP Envy TouchSmart 15 even the ludicrously powerful Aorus X7 gaming machine all coming in at under an inch thick, and often shedding as much weight as possible.

Being thin and light often means shedding a hard drive in favor of solid-state storage. That's great for performance, but it means paying through the nose if you want a lot of space. For the MacBook Pro in particular, storage comes at a hefty premium – to get a 1TB SSD, you have to buy at least the highest-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and then add a minimum of £400 (about $644, AU$719) to the price.

But if you're working with lots of massive files – and especially video – on the move, you often can't do without space, and sacrificing performance isn't an option.

WD Passport
Performance in a portable package

On the desktop, RAIDs of hard drives can offer a balance between hard drive prices and SSD performance, and Western Digital is the first company to bring that to portable computing.

The My Passport Pro is a Thunderbolt drive that powers itself over a single Thunderbolt cable, and contains two 1TB hard drives. You can choose to have these arranged for performance as a striped RAID 0 array, meaning that you get to use the full 2TB of space and also get the maximum possible transfer speeds.

Alternatively, you can have them as a mirrored RAID 1 array, meaning that you sacrifice performance and can only effectively use half of the storage space, but you get safety, because every file is stored on both drives, so you don't lose anything if one fails.

Both of these options are useful to pros, so it's up to you which one is right for your use. Western Digital has included a Mac app that makes it easy to switch between the options, or to check the drive for errors and erase it.

In the hand
The My Passport has a solid feel to it

Portability really is the key thing here. The unit is about 140mm (5.5 inches) long, 80mm (3.15 inches) wide and 27mm (1.06 inches) thick. It weighs about 460g (1.01 pounds), which isn't overly heavy, but when combined with its small size makes it feel extremely dense. Its solid aluminum exterior adds to this – it feels like a really solid unit to hold.

The Thunderbolt cable is built into the unit, and when not in use wraps all the way around the outside in a rubber groove. There's no Thunderbolt passthrough here (adding one would require an external power supply – a mains adapter – making it less portable), so if you've got a string of devices, this needs to go at the end.

There's a fan at the rear of the unit, next to where the cable attaches, along with a tiny LED to indicate power. It's the only indicator light of any kind on the unit.

Its silver and black colors reflect its premium standing, which is also of course reflected in the price. At £239 ($300, around AU$430), it's not cheap, but it's not totally unreasonable. There's also a 4TB version available, which will set you back £349 ($430, about AU$627).

Western Digital
It's not cheap, but you get a lot of performance for your money