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WD My Passport Essential SE vs Toshiba Canvio 3.0

written by: Jon Cevski•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/23/2011

Read this comparison to see which is the best of these two USB 3.0 portable hard drives.

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    The new USB 3.0 standard has been out for quite some time. More and more products that use this standard are being released on to the market. They still can't use the full bandwidth potential of 5 Gb/s. The first devices to use this connection are flash drives and portable hard drives. Here is a comparison of two great portable hard drives produced from two great manufacturers Western Digital and Toshiba. This will be a complete comparison of Western Digital vs Toshiba hard drives with a detailed description of their specifications. The two models for this comparison are My Passport Essential SE from Western Digital and Toshiba Canvio 3.0 from Toshiba. These two portable hard drives have built in support for USB 3.0 but also work with USB 2.0. Both models have 1 TB storage capacity and are almost the same size which makes them almost identical and perfect to compare, one against the other. First up is the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE.

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    Western Digital My Passport Essential SE

    Western Digital My Passport Essential SE. 

    The Western Digital My Passport Essential SE portable hard drive is one of the first USB 3.0 portable hard drives on the market. It offers dual compatibility for USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 so using it on an older PC that doesn't have USB 3.0 ports won't be a problem. The Western Digital My Passport Essential SE has storage capacity of 1 TB and that is great for a small portable hard drive. The physical dimensions of the My Passport Essential SE are 0.7 inches in height, 4.3 inches in depth, 3.2 inches in width and a weight of 0.2 kg, which makes it a compact and light portable hard drive. One big plus is that the hard drive is USB powered so there is no need for power cords and adapters. Another great feature is the WD SmartWare software that offers backup capability to your system. The backup works quietly in the background without taking up too many PC resources and it instantly backs up every change you make to your files. If you don't want this option you can always turn it off or choose not to install it.

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    Western Digital vs Toshiba portable USB 3.0 hard drives

    Portable hard drives offer freedom to take your files with you. They have to be small, compact and offer fast writing and reading speeds. The Toshiba Canvio 3.0 is a great portable hard drive, but read on to find out if it has what it takes to beat the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE in this detailed comparison of Western Digital vs Toshiba hard drives. To read a comparison of internal hard drives, Western Digital vs Maxtor read this.

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    Toshiba Canvio 3.0

    Toshiba Canvio 3.0 

    The Toshiba Canvio 3.0 is portable hard drive with a very cool design. It also offers 1 TB of storage capacity and dual support for USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. It is a USB powered device which offers great portability and it is very easy to use with a simple Plug and Play option. The Toshiba Canvio 3.0 offers customizable backup options with preloaded backup software and it has a 3 year warranty. The physical dimensions are a little bit smaller than the Western Digital at 0.56 inches in height, 4.7 inches in depth, 3.1 inches in width and a weight of 0.18 kg, which is also lighter. The Toshiba Canvio 3.0 is available in various color choices, such as Green, Red, White, Silver and Blue and a rounded rectangular form factor with rubberized edges and a high gloss black finish.

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    The Verdict

    This will be a hard choice. These are two great portable hard drives. The My Passport Essential SE offers great software support and Western Digital is a manufacturer with exceptional build quality, on the other hand Toshiba's Canvio 3.0 is smaller, more compact and comes in different colors. The fact is, looks aren’t everything, so it’s better to get the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE because it is built by a company that has huge experience in building hard drives and offers better software and support for its products. So the winner of this comparison of Western Digital vs Toshiba hard drives is the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE portable hard disk. To find out which external USB 3.0 hard drive is better, Western Digital or Lacie, read this detailed comparison…