The nickname says it all: USB 3.0, the hottest thing in connecting peripherals and moving business data around is dubbed SuperSpeed USB in geek circles.
USB 3.0 will connect digital printers, cameras and hard drives to computers as much as 10 times faster than the current version. With early products, that means the saving of 25GB of active work files will take just four minutes instead of the 14 that USB 2.0 takes. USB 3.0 devices also are more energy efficient.
"USB 3.0 is mostly about speed, but it is also about power consumption," says Brian O'Rourke, principal analyst for In-Stat, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based research firm. "USB 3.0 reduces the amount of polling that hosts must do to determine the number of connected USB devices. This does reduce power consumption."
Most electronics still run the older USB 2.0 spec, so pricey add-on computer cards and cabling are required (see our adapter recommendation below). Businesses will benefit from faster hard drives for backup and storage -- we review a couple of good options here. Expect USB 3.0 to come standard on PCs, cameras and mobile phones by early next year.
So take a look at your options and buckle up. Backing up is about to get fast -- very fast.
Western Digital My Book 3.0 (1TB, $190)
Billed by Western Digital as its fastest external drive ever, My Book 3.0 packs a wallop: It offers a full terabyte of storage--that's 200,000 digital photos and hundreds of thousands of average files. Deployed properly, this small device can legitimately be your firm's single source of backup.
Asus U3S6 USB/Serial ATA Combo Adapter ($30)
There's nothing like a little price war to lower the cost of new technology. Asus has adopted a "take-no-prisoners" attitude on entry-level USB 3.0 add-on cards. The company is shipping an inexpensive add-on card that will turn even the most sluggish PC into a rippin' fast USB 3.0 monster. It's this simple: For $30, you can't go wrong.
Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (1TB, $109)
If you're looking to test the USB 3.0 waters with a small hard drive that offers fast performance, good looks and USB 2.0 compatibility at a decent price, start here. The Iomega eGo can store all the personal material you could want and significantly speed backup times. Tired of waiting 20 minutes for your iPod to sync? The eGo is for you.
Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 Performance Kit ($185)
Seagate solves the USB 3.0 adapter/cable issue by combining a decent USB 3.0 PC card adapter, 500GB hard drive and needed cabling into one package at a fair price. Expect about a three times bump in performance here, with features like a nice slim form and preloaded backup and restore software.