WD Elements USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review

WD Elements hard drive

Produced by Western Digital, the WD Elements portable hard drive is a compact and speedy device which comes plug and play ready for Windows machines. It is available in 4 different storage capacities, up to 2TB. Unlike the My Passport devices, the Elements drives are only available in black.

See prices for 2TB version

WD Elements Highlights

  • Lightweight and compact
  • USB 3.0 compatible
  • Up to 2TB of storage
  • Windows 10 ready
  • Durable and stylish
  • Comes with trial version of WD Smartware Pro
  • See more features and user reviews

WD Elements Portable Hard Drive Features and Benefits

High capacity and speed

The WD Elements portable hard drive is available in the following capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB & 2TB. Western Digital also make a 750GB version, but this is not widely available and considering it is on the smaller end of the scale, we cannot see why you would opt for this over the 1TB version. Large storage works well with fast data transfer speeds, and the WD Elements drive, like all the best external hard drives, is USB 3.0 compatible, making it quick and easy to transfer files from your PC. It is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 in case you don’t have a USB 3.0 compatible PC, laptop or Mac.

Formatted for Windows

Windows 10 Ready

This device is ready to go straight out of the box with a Windows machine. It is formatted to NTFS, which means you will have to reformat it if you are using a Mac. It is Windows 10 ready and certified, so if you are buying a new Windows 10 computer, this portable hard drive will work perfectly. If you are currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8 and you would like to upgrade, you can currently get it for free (as of April 2016). For more information on downloading the upgrade visit the Windows 10 Upgrade site.

WD Smartware Pro

The WD Elements portable hard drive includes a trial version of WD Smartware Pro in the box. You can use Smartware Pro to create backup plans and sync via the cloud. You can use this software to create scheduled backups where you choose the time, date and frequency of your backups. If you require more real-time security, you can select automatic, continuous backups that run in the background and backup your files everytime you change or save a file. Smartware Pro also allows you to backup to the cloud via a dropbox account, meaning that you can access your backup from other locations via wifi or 3G/4G.

Compact stylish design

At just 4.4 inches tall, and 0.6 inches thick, the WD Elements portable hard drive would fit in your pocket. This makes it a perfect choice for a hard drive that you want to take with you on the go. Despite its small size, the hard drive is protected by a durable and stylish enclosure, with a sleek black finish. If you are interested in more colour options, then check out our WD My Passport Ultra Review. The drive inside is also built to WD’s demanding shock tolerance requirements, giving you more protection should you be unlucky enough to drop it.

WD Elements box

Package contents

  • Portable Hard Drive
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • Quick Install Guide
  • WD Smartware Pro Trial

WD Elements Conclusion

The WD Elements drive is a solid and reliable external hard drive which should suit the needs of most people. Customer reviews are generally excellent, and it is available at a reasonable price. Some external hard drives go for style over substance, others focus on performance at the expense of design and portability. The WD Elements USB 3.0 portable hard drive sits in the middle by offering a compact and stylish design alongside up to 2TB of storage with USB 3.0 transfer speeds. There may be larger devices on the market, and WD also offers more colourful hard drives with the My Passport Ultra range. However, if you want a reliable and compact external hard drive which is ready to go with Windows 10, the WD Elements drive is a good choice.

The WD Elements Portable External Drive is available to buy via Amazon UK. For information, comparisons and reviews on other external hard drives, please visit the HardDriveList Homepage.

WD Elements External Hard Drives - Available Sizes

SizeColourUSB TypePriceReviews

WD Elements 500GB
BlackUSB 3.0£36.98See Customer Reviews

WD Elements 1TB
BlackUSB 3.0£46.28See Customer Reviews

WD Elements 1.5TB
BlackUSB 3.0£59.55See Customer Reviews

WD Elements 2TB
BlackUSB 3.0£67.99See Customer Reviews

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