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Tag Archives: USB 3.0

LaCie FastKey Reviewed. Verdict: Speed Certainly Does Come at a Price

By Paul McCollum

Following Kingston, PQI and Super Talent, LaCie has also jumped onto the USB 3.0 bandwagon with its FastKey. Bearing a strong resemblance to the IronKey drive, the $499 FastKey USB 3.0 flash drive keeps with the company’s tradition of devices that are easy on the eyes (and pricey). A smooth metallic exterior and a slim form factor make the FastKey a nice conversation starter. The cap and body are lightweight and metallic, giving the feel of a smaller drive. However, the above average width may cause problems blocking adjacent USB ports.

While the FastKey is slightly larger than most flash drives, it packs a whopping 120GB of storage. With this amount of storage, speed is a necessity. What good is 120GB of space if it takes an hour to fill it up? For FastKey’s real world performance, you can expect a read rate of 125MB/s and write of 85MB/s, provided you have a fast internal drive to match the speed. So, it will take about 16 minutes or so to copy everything from this thumbdrive to your PC.

Not all flash drives are built the same, even those as bold to call themselves an Express or Blaze are deceptively slow. When selecting a flash drive, pay close attention to the actual speed rating of the memory as opposed to the version of USB that they support. Full details on how well the LaCie FastKey lives up to its name can be found at Everything USB.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Seagate GoFlex 1.5TB Portable Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Perfect Match of Size and Speed

By Paul McCollum

Portable hard drives have been an indispensable tool for data backup on the go. Seagate has stayed in the forefront of this market for a number of years and the company has recently outfitted their drives with the GoFlex interchangeable interface adapter to make their drives future-proof. The latest 2.5″ GoFlex model has 1.5TB storage and the choose-your-own connector drive now comes with the USB 3.0 adapter and includes a standard mini-USB 3.0 cable. Other connection kits including eSATA and Firewire 800 which can be purchased separately for maximum performance based on your available connections.

The 1.5TB FreeAgent GoFlex is vast and fast but gives up some of its svelte form to pack on the extra gigabytes. The extra bulk is only noticeable in comparison to other drives of the same ilk but under most circumstances, you will never notice the 0.25″ or so of extra thickness. Performance metrics put this drive well above USB 2.0 drives and significantly above previous USB 3.0 drives. Performance data and other details are all covered in an in depth review at Everything USB.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Nexcopy 16 Port USB 3.0 Duplicator

Nexcopy USB 3.0 Duplicator (Image courtesy Nexcopy)
By Andrew Liszewski

The most practical use for a USB duplicator like this is to speed up the process of copying corporate info to a bunch of promotional USB flash drives you intend to give away at a trade show. If you’ve decided not to just let an outside company do it, whether for cost or security reasons. And thanks to the Nexcopy SSUSB160PC’s support of USB 3.0, that copying process will go even faster now. Assuming of course you’re using USB 3.0 flash drives.

But what company is already giving away USB 3.0 flash drives as promotional/informational items? And where do I find them? There were still companies at CES, arguably the most tech-friendly of trade shows, distributing their press kits on plastic discs! So I find it hard to believe that USB 3.0 flash drives have reached the point of being an affordable promotional item. The duplicator does become a little more useful if you’re looking to clone a pile of USB 3.0 external hard drives for your traveling sales team or something, but with a price tag of $1499 I’d say it’s probably smarter to just drag your feet for another year when these are more commonplace and a lot cheaper.

[ Nexcopy 16 Port USB 3.0 Duplicator ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof USB 3.0 Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Speedy as it is Secure

By Ian Chiu

In certain situations and environments, physical security is going to be paramount in your data backup and recovery plan. Maybe you are a SOHO business, or just have a lot of precious data that you want to be sure will survive no matter what natural disaster hits your home! For situations like this, nothing beats offsite storage. Sadly, this is not an option for everyone, and as strange as it may seem some services offer barely above the “dial-up connection” transfer speed levels. So, an alternative is fire and water proof storage solutions.

One such example, which is not only durable (and yes we tried our best to kill the darn thing!) but is also fast is the ioSafe SoloPRO USB 3.0 hard drive. This bad boy not only boasts fire protection of 1550ºF for 30 minutes and is waterproof (though only the hard drive as the unit WILL be dead after water immersion), it also boasts a USB 3.0 interface. This combination makes it as fast as an internal hard drive would be while still being much more durable in case of bad things happening to your environment. As a nice little bonus ioSafe even includes free data recovery service if their device does fail (first year only, with extensions of up to 4 more years available). On paper, it sounds awfully tempting as peace of mind is priceless.

How does it fare in real life? The 1TB Hitachi hard drive is not exactly going to win any speed contests but was found to be more than “good enough”. The only real down side is its price of $249 for only 1TB of space, which makes this solution a tad pricey for some people’s budgets. Everything USB has the full review.

[Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Asus U3S6 USB 3.0 / SATA 6 Hybrid Card. Verdict: A Killer Upgrade

By Ian Chiu

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a brand new motherboard with integrated USB 3.0 ports; yet, many want to take advantage of the theoretical tenfold increase in speed the new copper interface has to offer.  For this burgeoning market many manufacturers have started to offer small add-on cards which can upgrade an existing rig to USB 3.0.

Sadly, not all of these add-on cards are created equal as there seems to be two separate and distinct types: PCI Express x1 and PCI Express x4. The latter seem to be the better choice if the ASUS U3S6 is any indication.  This particular board packs in not only two USB 3.0 ports, but also a pair of SATA 6GB/s ports.  It’s a killer combination with one caveat – the U3S6 isn’t an optimal solution unless your existing motherboard is on the extremely short ASUS approved motherboard list. If you disable the SATA 6, the USB 3.0 ports will most definitely work, and you can expect speed up to 245MB/s with a USB 3.0 SSD. For under $30, it’s a price that is hard to beat.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

[CES 2010] SuperTalent Ships First USB 3.0 Flash Drive (And It’s Fast!)


By Chris Scott Barr

Over the last year or so, we’ve heard a lot of talk about USB 3.0. The new standard has the obvious advantage of speed over its earlier versions. While we’ve seen manufacturers release add-on cards and even motherboards equipped with these newer ports, there haven’t been a lot of drives that truly take advantage of the throughput that can be achieved. While walking the floor at CES, I came across one company that was showing off just such a product.

The new USB 3.0 RAIDDrive from SuperTalent is boasted as the first such drive to actually hit the market. Utilizing a pair of drives crammed into one case and setup with a RAID 0 configuration, this flash drive is by far the fastest I’ve ever seen. After the jump I’ve got a shot of the monitor on which they ran the CrystalDiskMark test. These numbers are in many areas higher than some of the SSD’s that I’ve benchmarked. With that sort of speed and capacities ranging from 32GB-128GB, it walks that line between oversized flash drive and undersized hard drive.

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LaCie Announces First USB 3.0 External Hard Drive


By Chris Scott Barr

Do you have need of a lot of external storage and want to make use of that USB 3.0 card that you decided to purchase? After all, what good is having the ports if you don’t also have devices that use them? LaCie has announced their latest external drive, dubbed the 2Big RAID drive which utilizes the latest in USB technology.

Obviously speed is the name of the game with this drive, with throughput speeds of 275MB/s. These speeds are reached by using a dual-disk RAID configuration along with the USB 3.0 technology. LaCie claims that with a drive this fast, you can stream and edit multiple HD files simultaneously. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, though you can expect to pay a nice premium for the extra speed.

[ LaCie ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Add USB 3.0 To Your Laptop


By Chris Scott Barr

With USB 3.0 devices slowly trickling to the market, some people are going to be on the lookout for ways to add such ports to their computer. We’ve already seen a desktop solution and now it seems that road warriors will be able to upgrade their laptops to the standard as well.

StarTech has announced their new 2 Port ExpressCard USB 3.0 adapter. As you would imagine, this slides into your ExpressCard slot and gives you a pair of USB 3.0 ports. There is, however, one major flaw with this device. It would seem that the ExpressCard slot does not provide enough power to supply each port with the required 900mA. You’ll be fine so long as you don’t have two devices which both require the maximum amount of power, otherwise you’ll be forced to plug in the included AC adapter. With such a drawback and the limited number of USB 3.0 devices on the market, I can’t see many people coughing up $50 for this add-on.

[ StarTech ] VIA [ RedFerret ]

First USB 3.0 External SSD Drives Announced


By Chris Scott Barr

USB 3.0 is going to likely start showing up in new computers sometime next year, which means that we’ll be seeing USB 3.0 peripherals sometime in the near future. Since the main advantage of this new specification is obviously speed, hard drives will be one of the biggest things to take advantage of it. Since SSD’s are the fastest when it comes to transfer speeds, it’s only natural that some of the first devices to be announced are external SSD drives.

Active Media Productions has announced their new USB 3.0 SSD drives which range in sizes from 16GB to 64GB. This would essentially be the same speeds you would achieve with eSATA, only without the need for an external power source. These new Aviator 312 drives will be rather small in size, measuring only 3” long and 0.2” thick. Expect to pay a premium for the new technology, as prices will range from $89 to $209.

[ Active Media ] VIA [ EverythingUSB ]