Let’s take a look at the Western Digital Elements Portable 1 TB 2.5″external disk drive for the relatively low price of 45€ (WDBUZG0010BBK-0B model WESN). Seeing is believing, so check out the video for an unboxing, noise test and some benchmarks.
Accessories: The package includes the drive, a small booklet and a short USB3.0 to Micro-B USB3.0 cable (not Type C). You do not need external power. If you open the clipped-in case you will find that there is no internal SATA interface so you can not put this drive into a laptop. It is internally hold by 4 rubber feet at its side to reduce noise and absorb shocks.
Noise level: There is a subtle but persistent humming when the drive is spinning. I did not hear it during the noisy daytime but it can be heard when you are alone or at silent night hours. The drive creates some quite chatter when accessed but that is hardly audible beyond the humming sound. It is not more noisy than what I am used from these 2.5″ mechanical drives.
Speed: I assume speed is not the most important thing for a low-cost data storage device. However, the drive is pretty fast for a 5400 rpm mechanical drive. My benchmarks show up to 130 MB/s for reading and writing sequential large files. In real life test with copying many image and video files we get up to 120 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write. These values will probably decrease if you copy many smaller files or the drive gets filled too much.
Reliability: This drive gets a relatively good rating with 4.5 of 5 starts at Amazon. Usually these slow spinning, cool running 5400 rpm drives tend to be more reliable than faster drives. Of course you could always get a lemon so you need a backup for the backup.
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