Western Digital has announced its new My Passport Wireless Pro hard drive, a Wi-Fi enabled portable storage device designed for photographers and videographers who want to backup, access, and edit photos or video in the field without using a computer. In addition to Wi-Fi, the drive includes an integrated SD card slot and a USB port that can be used to connect external devices, such as a CFast or XQD card reader. It can also be plugged directly into a computer for standard operation.

This is the second generation of Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless series. The company told us that they received a lot of feedback from photographers following the product’s initial release in 2014, and that much of that feedback has been incorporated into the new Pro edition. The Pro version includes a faster SD card slot with transfer rates up to 75MB/s, up from 10MB/s, as well as upgraded 802.11ac Wi-Fi with speeds up to 20MB/s, improved from 9MB/s. It also features a larger 6400mAh battery, compared to 3400mAh on the original model, which WD says can last up to 11.5 hours in the field, including 6 to 8 hours of operation under ‘hard use.’ Unfortunately, the USB port for connecting external devices appears to be of the USB 2.0 variety.

WD has also made improvements to the product’s companion My Cloud app for iPad. The company told us that while photographers loved the ability to view images stored on the drive from an iPad, they didn’t want to be restricted to using a proprietary app. The updated app makes it possible to export photos to the camera roll for easy sharing or editing with other iOS apps. It also integrates with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, facilitating transfer of photos directly to a user's Creative Cloud account.

Finally, WD told us that about 50% of customers using the original product used it primarily as a device to stream content. To better support these users the company has added a PLEX media server to the device.

We recently received a demo unit from Western Digital and look forward to taking it for a spin (pun intended). We look forward to letting you know how it works.

The My Passport Wireless Pro comes in two capacities: a 2TB model which lists for $229.99, and a 3TB model which lists for $249.99. The company also announced a new My Cloud Pro Series NAS device, which you can read about in the press release below.

Press Release:

My Passport Wireless Pro and My Cloud Pro Together

Provide Fast, Reliable Back-up and Transfer While on a Remote Shoot or in the Studio

IRVINE, Calif. – June 21, 2016 – Western Digital Corporation (“Western Digital”) (NASDAQ: WDC), a global storage technology and solutions leader, today introduced the WD Pro Series: My Passport® Wireless Pro Wi-Fi® mobile storage and My Cloud® Pro Series network attached storage (NAS). Designed specifically for the creative community, the WD Pro Series enables seamless transfer of content between devices, with classic WD reliability and speed, regardless of whether users are on a remote shoot, in the studio or editing at home. The products use the My Cloud mobile app – the new version of the app will be launched with the My Passport Wireless Pro and My Cloud Pro Series and be compatible with the Adobe® Creative Cloud®. In addition, both the My Passport Wireless Pro and My Cloud Pro Series devices are also compatible with the Plex™ Media Server and My Cloud OS 3 software for easy editing, streaming and sharing of content.

“Portability, reliability, capacity, speed and interoperability are crucial for creative professionals, whose very livelihoods rely on the strength of the technology they use to store their life’s work,” said Sven Rathjen, vice president of marketing for content solutions at WD. “We created the WD Pro Series as a comprehensive, feature-rich storage solution designed to fit seamlessly into their workflow, regardless of where the work actually happens, so storage, transfer, back-up, editing and even streaming options are readily available.”

My Passport Wireless Pro

My Passport Wireless Pro Wi-Fi mobile storage lets creative professionals and enthusiasts leave the laptop behind when on a shoot. Using the direct Wi-Fi connection, creators can automatically backup files from compatible cameras, as well as save, edit and transfer work seamlessly from up to eight other devices connected to the drive. Tethered connections are also available for faster transfers and include a built-in SD card reader as well as a USB 3.0 port.

Available in capacities up to 3TB, the My Passport Wireless Pro device also features up to 10 hours of battery life* and a built-in battery pack that can even be used to charge phones and other devices like digital or video cameras.

To ensure creative professionals can continue to work while in the field, My Passport Wireless Pro devices include compatibility with Adobe’s Creative Cloud for mobile photo and video editing, as well as compatibility with Plex Media Server, which is capable of playing up to four streams of content while on-the-go.

My Cloud Pro Series network attached storage

When the shoot is over and it’s time for editing or studio work, the My Cloud Pro Series NAS device takes the reins seamlessly. Offering up to 32TB of storage, the My Cloud Pro Series NAS are optimized to import from cameras/memory card readers and other USB storage with a simple one touch backup button. Simply connect your cameras and compatible USB storage devices, press a button, and your new files are easily backed up/imported.

In addition to giving creative professionals and enthusiasts a reliable place to store their files, this fast, high capacity drive features a hardware accelerated video processor. Its powerful transcoding capabilities mean the My Cloud Pro Series NAS can ingest, edit, store and stream content to and from popular formats, including 4K video. These capabilities compliment a robust, integrated application suite, which includes compatibility with Plex Media Server for storing and optimizing media libraries and compatibility with Adobe’s Creative Cloud for editing and finalizing them.
The My Cloud Pro Series NAS gives the creative community significantly more control while they are away from their workstation, using WD’s My Cloud app and MyCloud.com remote access, and despite its professional caliber, is still easy to set up and use.

Pricing and Availability

My Passport Wireless Pro Wi-Fi mobile storage is available today in the WD store at wdstore.com and at select retailers, including Amazon.com and distributors. My Passport Wireless Pro storage has a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from $229.99 up to $249.99 depending on capacity. The My Passport Wireless Pro storage will offer a 2-year limited warranty. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found on the WD website.

My Cloud Pro Series NAS devices are also available at Amazon.com, B&H and the WD Store. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) begins at $399.99 up to $1,649.99 depending on configuration and capacity. The My Cloud Pro Series will also offer a 2-year limited warranty for diskless models and 3-year limited warranty for populated models. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found on the WD website.

About Western Digital

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. The company addresses ever-changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage solutions with customer-focused innovation, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Our products are marketed under the HGST, SanDisk and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers.

*Based on streaming HD 720p, 3 Mbps video to one device over Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz single band only. Actual battery life depends on file size, type, format, bitrate, devices connected, Wi-Fi connectivity, settings and other factors.