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CES 2018: Western Digital Announces New Storage Device

CES 2018: Western Digital Announces New Storage Device

Western Digital recently announced a new storage device: the My Passport Wireless SSD. With capacities and prices ranging from 250 GB ($229.99) to 2 TB ($799.99), the Wireless storage device is a provocative buy you might want to add to your kit, especially if your shooting requires you to be out in the field. 

Notable product specs include:

  • Built-in SD card reader
  • Durable and shock resistant, up to 1 meter
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Photo viewing and wireless 4K video streaming
  • Import from USB card readers
  • Ability to charge mobile devices (such as an iPhone)
  • RAW file preview support 
  • Need of third-party apps to edit content
  • Weight: 1 lb

The best part about the new Wireless SSD? You won't be needing your laptop to backup your photos and/or videos. Weighing in at only 1 lb, you probably won't even feel the storage device in your camera bag. If you're a landscape photographer like me, this could be extremely useful. Especially while spending a few days in the backcountry hiking and taking pictures, I sometimes find myself becoming more cautious about protecting my images. I've had my camera ruined on a mountaintop before, causing me to lose my images from the day. It certainly would've been nice to backup the photos in order to preserve those precious moments, and potentially have a product to sell to my audience. 

If you decide this is something you might buy, it'd be wise to compare the My Passport Wireless SSD to similar products, such as the Gnarbox. The backup device was released a few months before the Passport Wireless, but has a few differences. For starters, the Gnarbox's batter life ranges only from 4-6 hours. However, the Gnarbox is also shock resistant, and you won't need third-party apps to edit imported content. With two sizes: 128GB + 64GB microSD ($299.00) and the 256GB + 64 GB microSD ($399.00), the Gnarbox is a bit pricier than the My Passport Wireless SSD, but also provides smaller storage sizes. 

Other products announced by Western Digital at CES include:

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1
  • SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
  • My Cloud Home Software Updates
Tim Behuniak's picture

Timothy Behuniak is a Salt Lake City-based landscape and outdoor adventure photographer who's passionate about getting lost in the woods with his camera. Tim's hope is that his viewers, like him, will one day love and fight to protect the beautiful locations he is fortunate to photograph.

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Am I missing something or is there a screen on here? How are you sure your work is all successfully backed up? Could your camera be damaged so badly that both memory cards were destroyed but this device is somehow unharmed? Or is this just a one-more-redundancy consideration for worst-case scenarios where you believe everything is backed up and you may never have to find out for sure (which I can appreciate and understand). I love the idea of wireless and being a charger and having a card reader, etc., but just am having trouble seeing how it would work.

To verify your files you use the wireless feature. Basically you use your phone to connect to the SSD, then view the files on your phone.

Can it be connected to IPad's LR Mobile via wifi???? if that is the case I'll be finally laptop and HDD free for travels!!

I'm honestly not 100% sure on this. It seems you can use third-party apps (not WD), to edit photos once they're on a mobile device after being transferred. So, yes?

Yep, pretty sure you're on the money.

GNARBOX has a Lightroom CC integration for iOS. You can view your files on the SD card in the GNARBOX or files on the GNARBOX from within the LRCC App.

I think the biggest difference between the GNARBOX and WD is the ability to render and edit photos and videos that are on the GNARBOX using the onboard Intel processor. Prepping and streaming your gh5 videos takes some juice. Lightroom integration is a big differentiator too.

Have you tested both apps? What do you think?

Honestly I personally have not tested either app. I plan on purchasing the WD in the future, and will probably do a review once I do!

Cool, why the WD over the GNARBOX?

It's a brand I've personally used for a few years now and never had a problem with, so I don't see a reason to switch now. But that being said, I'm sure the GNARBOX is a fantastic product with a great team behind it!!