The WD Black P10 is the first in a series of Game Drives announced earlier this month. But you don’t need to be a gamer to appreciate it.
The portable drive is fast in my testing, and its rugged, cool-looking design is a boon for any user.
On the downside, the new portable drive is quite expensive, costing some 50 percent more than others, including those from WD, of the same capacities. Also, its lack of support for USB-C can be a turnoff.
But if you’re looking for a well-built portable storage device, especially to use with a game console, this is still a good buy, though not a must-have.
WD Black P10: An all-new plug-n-play WD portable drive
The P10 is unlike any other portable drives you’ve known from WD, like the My Passport family. For one, as the name suggests, it comes in complete black with a metal casing that dubs as passive cooling. Also, the drive uses a micro-USB 3.2 port (formerly micro-USB 3.0 port) to connect to a host instead of a USB-C port.
Though the lack of USB-C support is disappointing, considering all existing game consoles and most computers still have regular USB ports, this is not a huge deal. But if you have those that only have USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports — like those Macbooks — the WD Black P10 is not for you.
Out of the box, the P10 is formatted in the exFAT file system, making it compatible with all intended hosts, including Windows, macOS, and game consoles.
There’s no bundled software, and there’s none needed to make it work. All you have to do is plug the drive into your system’s USB port.
WD Black P10: Detail photos
WD Black P10: Hardware specifications
Like all portable drives, the P10 is bus-powered and includes a standard USB-A to micro-USB cable. On top, it has a small white indicator light that pulses to show data activities.
|Design||Compact and bus-powered||Same||Same|
|USB port||Micro-B SuperSpeed||Same||Same|
|USB standard||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps)||Same||Same|
|Stop speed||Up to 120 MB/s||Up to 130 MB/s||Up to 130 MB/s|
|Dimensions||4.65 x 3.46 x .50 in (118 x 88 x 12.8 mm)||4.65 x 3.46 x .82 in (118 x 88 x 20.8 mm)||4.65 x 3.46 x .82 in (118 x 88 x 20.8 mm)|
|Weight||.31lb (.14kg)||.52lb (.23kg)||.52lb (.23kg)|
|Compatibility||PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows 8.1 (and later), Mac|
OS 10.11 (and later)
The P10 doesn’t support encryption. It’s quite understandable since game consoles generally don’t have a mechanism to open an encrypted drive. And there’s no real need to keep your game-related info private in the first place. However, if you need a portable drive to store sensitive data, the P10 is not suitable.
WD Black P10: Fast performance
I tested the 5TB version, which is the highest capacity but slightly slower than the 2TB version, and was still quite happy with its performance.
In the copy tests, the P10 averaged almost 120 MB/s for reading and writing — clearly above the average on the charts. I also tried it with my Xbox One, and games stored on it loaded about as fast as those stored on the console’s internal drive.
Overall, while the drive’s performance wasn’t earth-shattering, it’s fast enough for my needs.
WD Black P10 Game Drive's Rating
Solid and stylish design
Plug-n-play out of the box
A little bulky
No USB-C or encryption support
The WD Black P10 Game Drive is not strictly a gamer-only portable storage device, nor is it a must-have.
Anyone needing a portable drive can enjoy it, and the truth is you can use most, if not all, portable drives with your game console — at most, you only need to do some reformatting.
But the P10 is also a statement. It feels solid and looks professional. Whether or not you’re into gaming, getting the WD Black P10 shows that you’re not messing around.
Also, WD promises that it’s built to last. I’m not sure if that’s enough to justify its high cost, but the P10 sure is a cool drive to carry around.