updated 10:15 pm EST, Fri November 19, 2010
New life for older or smaller drives
Newer Technology's popular universal drive adapter, a driverless connector with ports for ATA (5.25/3.5 and 2.5 inch versions) and SATA (standard or SSD) drives to plug into a USB external drive without a housing, has now been updated to feature a USB 3.0 connector allowing potential speeds of up to 500 megabytes/second and which is backward compatible with USB 2.0. The adapter works on any standard-sized ATA or SATA hard drive, SSD, optical or removable drive from any manufacturer, works with any Mac or Mac OS X system from 8.6 on up (also supports all versions of Windows) and can handle drives of any capacity up to 2TB.
The kit includes connectors for standard drives and a USB 3.0 compatible cable that will work with both USB3-equipped machines or standard USB2 ports. While USB 3.0 has not yet found wide mainstream acceptance in the market, it is now gaining traction and is expected to become much more common over the course of 2011. The adapter can be used for "rescue" situations where data may need to be recovered from an older or failing drive, or as an "on-demand" solution for quickly transferring data from switched-out drives. MacBook Air users may be able to quickly attach an optical drive of almost any brand using the adapter, since it works with the Air's included USB 2.0 ports.
The USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter is $40 and available from Other World Computing, the exclusive distributor of Newer Technology products. The older USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter is also available for $35.