Can a Sandforce-based SSD thumb drive be used as a portable OS drive?
USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, speeds are still generally measured in tens of megabytes per second, rather than something more speedy -- despite being on the new USB 3.0 bus. VisionTek is one of a few companies offering SSD-class speeds in a removable package -- in this case, the simply-named VisionTek USB Pocket SSD line of thumb drive-sized SSDs. We've lived with a 120GB version for a while, and have used it for various tasks, including as the carrier for a laptop operating system. See what we thought about it.
Drive can hit over 400MB/s, suitable for operating systems
Accessory manufacturer VisionTek today announced the new VisionTek USB Pocket SSD line of thumb drive-sized SSDs. The USB 3.0 drive can be used with nearly any Windows, OS X, and Linux based system, with performance of up to 455MB/s read and 440MB/s write in a pocket-sized drive.
Pocket-sized solid state drive offers quick reads, falls just short of stated writes
USB thumb drives aren't the end all solutions for data transfer and traveling needs. Sometimes people want something with a little more to them, opting for larger external drives that offer greater capacities, and in some cases faster transfer speeds. One example of a bigger, faster drive is the Patriot Supersonic Phoenix. The drive is offered in a pocket-sized format that is more like a portable hard drive than a USB flash drive. But would the Supersonic Phoenix be something that consumers flock to with its SSD-like features, or should they opt for the smaller thumb drive? Find out in our review.
TopGum backup battery with Lightning cable announced at IFA 2014
Just Mobile has announced the launch of its new backup battery at IFA 2014, the TopGum. A portable power pack clad in unibody aluminum, TopGum features a tangle-free Lightning cable and a magnetic recharging dock, for recharging without the need to find additional cords. The TopGum's capacity allows for an iPhone to charge up to three times, or top up an iPad mini to 75 percent. Also featured is a standard USB connection, meaning USB-powered devices can be recharged, and TopGum's internal batteries can be refilled when its dock is out of reach. The TopGum backup battery is priced at $80.
Corsair launches palm-sized 1TB wireless hard drive
Technology company Corsair has announced the release of its palm-size wireless hard drive, the Voyager Air 2. Featuring 1TB of storage, the Voyager Air 2 offers additional file storage for tablets, phones and computers. Its rechargeable battery removes the need for cables, and its latest version software includes close synchronization, simplified media browsing and AirPlay streaming to Apple TV. The Voyager Air 2 functions with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections, and can be partitioned if desired. Priced at $180, the drive will be available this month.
USB 3.0 memory stick adds SSD technology and capacity starting at $120
A new portable storage option was presented by Corsair today, aimed at consumers that need to be able to hold a lot of data in their pocket and access it quickly. The Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.0 drive puts the technology and capacity of a solid state drive (SSD) in a memory stick. The flash drive will be available in common SSD sizes, including 128GB and 256GB capacities, when it releases in July.
Elgato adds USB3.0 to Thunderbolt SSD
Elgato recently introduced its Thunderbolt Drive+ portable SSD, building upon the company's existing Thunderbolt SSD that we tried out last year. The new offering ads USB 3.0 connectivity for cross-platform convenience, while transfer speeds are claimed to get a boost up to 420MBps. Check out our full review to see how the Drive+ performs against its predecessor.
USB 3.0 upgrade for older Macs
Several companies currently offer Thunderbolt docks to expand the interface options for recent MacBooks. CalDigit's Thunderbolt Station is one of the latest, providing a wide range of connections including USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet ports, among others. Check out our full review for a closer look at the new docking station.
New router boasts USB 3.0 connectivity, beamforming technology
Networking company Netgear has launched its newest dual-band 802.11ac wireless router, the Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000). The Nighthawk combines a powerful 1GHz dual-core processor with a USB 3.0 port for peripheral connectivity and Netgear Beamforming+ to boost speed, reliability of connection, and best possible range for Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity in the home.
Drive dock duplexes pair of USB 3.0 connections for max throughput
We've spoken about the convenience of drive docks in the past. If a user has any significant quantity of data to back up, optical media just won't do -- magnetic high-density media, like hard drives, are the way to go. Docks are a logical and flexible device to procure to eliminate the need for costly cases for multiple drives. We reviewed the SATA-3 version of the 5122B dual-channel drive dock, but is the ubiquity of the USB 3.0 port a benefit, or a hindrance to the device? Read on to find out!
High-speed transfer standard completed by USB 3.0 Promoter Group
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has finalized the specification of USB 3.1, also known as SuperSpeed USB. The new specification standard will allow for USB data transfers at a rate of up to 10Gbps, effectively doubling the data rate of USB 3.0, but still retaining backwards compatibility with devices using USB 3.0 and earlier standards.
Speedy OSX and Windows USB 3.0 RAID implementation tested
Apple was one of the first -- if not the first -- major computer manufacturers to provide then-fledgling USB support at the expense of legacy ports on its iMac line some 15 ago. Since then, the Mac maker hasn't always been the fastest at adding new USB protocols to machines, generally lagging six months or more behind, depending on the product line. The Mac Pro is languishing these days, awaiting a revamp -- but still has no USB 3.0 ports, despite an incremental update last summer boosting the speed of the computer somewhat. Highpoint Technologies has had strong support for the Macintosh and OS X despite only one current line of hardware having PCI-E slots. The latest offering from the company is the quad-channel Rocket-U 1144CM 4x PCI-E USB 3.0 card for the Mac Pro, and MacNN got a chance to test one out.
Each port slaved to individual USB 3.0 controller
HighPoint Technologies is now shipping the industry’s first USB 3.0 Storage Host Bus Adapter (HBA) available for Mac OS X 10.68 through 10.8.x -- the RocketU 1144CM. This third-generation, PCIe 2.0 x4 RAID HBA delivers 5Gb per second per-port performance and supports up to four external USB SSD’s, hard drives or enclosures.
Trayless enclosure allows for bus-powered hot-swap functionality
Storage solutions provider FirmTek, today launched the bus-powered miniSwap/U3 440MB per second USB 3.0 enclosure for 2.5-inch solid state and magnetic platter hard disk drives. The enclosure provides trayless, hot-swap, USB 3.0 external enclosure support for Mac and PC computers.
Flash drive with 1TB capacity accompanied by smaller drives
Memory manufacturer Kingston is to release what is claimed to be the world's largest-capacity USB 3.0 flash drive. The high-capacity DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 will have a version shipping later this quarter with a total storage of 1-terabyte, while others in the range will ship at the same time at more standard capacities.
Higher data throughput, USB 2.0 compatability claimed
A faster version of USB 3.0 is in the pipeline, according to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group at CES. Expected to be completed by mid-2014, the development of a SuperSpeed USB enhancement will add a higher data rate to the USB 3.0 specification, allowing for up to double the date throughput of existing USB 3.0 connections.
New USB 3.0 solutions designed for Windows 8, OS X
Connectivity solution manufacturer Kanex, today announced two new USB 3.0 solutions. A new four-Port USB 3.0 Hub and a USB 3.0 Gigabit Adapter were both announced, and are listed as having both OS X and Windows compatibility.
Transfer speed claimed to be three times that of USB 2.0
Western Digital has rolled out a new version of the My Book Studio external hard drive, aimed towards users wanting more speed without switching to Thunderbolt. The update adds USB 3.0 connectivity, which provides data transfer speeds claimed to be three times faster than the USB 2.0 version, while also allowing for legacy connections through USB 2.0 and FireWire 800.
Social network backup software also included
Seagate has unveiled a version of its Backup Plus portable and desktop drives for the Mac. The new release includes USB 3.0 support, which did not exist on Macs until the MacBook Pro with Retina was put on the market, though it can be upgraded to use FireWire 800 or a Thunderbolt connection if required, via Seagate's Universal Storage Module technology.
New Diamond Multimedia 1080P set top box also revealed
Graphic card manufacturer Diamond Multimedia introduced today an addition to the Dual View line of products and PC to TV adapter. The DV100 is a USB 3.0 to DVI /HDMI 1080P external dual video card and display adapter for multiple monitors. The WPCTVPRO is a set-top box allowing for video and audio playback from a computer to a television, including support for popular media streaming services
USB 3.0 paired with FireWire 800
As notebook computers continue to grow in popularity, 2.5-inch hard drives have become one of the most popular upgrades. Most of the drives that are pulled out of a computer end up collecting dust, but Akitio's Neutrino U3+ enclosure promises to give life back to unused drives, or serve as a basis for custom external storage. In our full review, we take a closer look at the USB 3.0-equipped enclosure.
9-pin connector dubbed Lightning, earphones dubbed Earpods
Apple’s much discussed and still rumored 9-pin dock connector is reportedly referred to internally as ‘Lightning,’ reports 9to5Mac. It is also believed that Apple will also market the new connector with that name lending weight to our earlier story that it is likely to be compatible with USB 3.0. Apple’s newest Ivy Bridge-based Macs support USB 3.0 and boast speeds of up to 5Gbps, half the speed of the Thunderbolt I/O, but much faster than the current USB 2.0 compatible connector.
New cable unlikely to be just USB 2.0 or Thunderbolt
As details have clarified on the forthcoming iPhone and peripherals, various outlets have started to take a look at the synchronization cable as well. The nine-pin connector could point to compatibility with a USB 3.0 connector, such as those found on newer Macintosh laptop models from 2012, leading to substantially faster synchronization speeds across the newer interface.
Reworked storage gives alternative to Thunderbolt-only versions
LaCie has revealed two reworked additions to its desktop storage line. The 2big Quadra and 4big Quadra use a combination of high capacity RAID arrays and USB 3.0 ports, which LaCie has re-engineered to be optimized for computers that support the faster connection, and is a high-speed alternative to the company's Thunderbolt-only equivalents.
Thunderbolt drive uses 10K RPM disks to match SSD performance
Hard drive maker Western Digital has revealed a new line of portable external drives specifically for Macs with capacities up to 2TB and USB 3.0 functionality, and has added a 2TB Thunderbolt-enabled drive that it says offers up to 400MB per second read speeds (and 380MB per second write speeds). When two My Book Velociraptor Duo drives are daisy-chained together, it doubles the speed capacity, rivalling consumer SSD drives at dramatically lower costs.
LaCie optimizes USB 3.0 range for Apple MacBooks
LaCie has re-engineered its UBS 3.0 lineup for Apple's new line of USB 3.0-equipped MacBooks. According to LaCie, it has optimized its storage range to take advantage of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, which support USB 3.0 natively for the first time. In this instance, LaCie has updated its range to support USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UAS) ensuring maximum data transfer rates.
Appears to fix USB 3.0 external drive mounting issues
Responding to complaints about CPU power use under load that eerily echoes a 2011 issue and also resolving a tricky issue regarding some USB 3.0 drive enclosures, Apple today issued a software update for just the latest models of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The "Pro Update 1.0" release notes do not specify the power consumption and USB problems in any detail, but reports of the machines losing battery while under high load even while plugged in have been spotted in support forums.
Problem isolated to inexpensive bridgeboards, chipsets
Almost immediately after USB 3.0-equipped Macs were announced by Tim Cook at the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference, MacNN started receiving tips that there were sporadic problems involving USB 3.0 external drives not mounting properly. The reports were scattershot, with reports of one drive working fine on one machine, but not on the Retina MacBook pro, or alternatively, working on the 2012 MacBook Pros but not the just-refreshed MacBook Air. To get to the bottom of the problem, we contacted an independent lab to set up tests of various combinations of new MacBooks and USB 3.0 drives to look into the phenomenons and, hopefully, find a root cause.
Sources suggest Apple objected to blue connectors
Apple's next Macs, which are widely expected to be unveiled within hours, may feature customized USB 3.0 ports. Several recent leaks have pointed to USB 3.0 support as a likely feature, however sources have told Electronista that Apple pushed to get its own exclusive grey-colored connectors for upcoming devices, rather than utilizing the existing blue connectors found on most USB 3.0 products.
Long-awaited MacBook updates could begin in June
Apple will finally announce updated MacBooks in June, DigiTimes claims. The site quotes supply chain sources, who say that parts shipments are expected to pick up significantly that month as Apple escalates MacBook production. Shipments are predicted to peak in July, once capacity is reached; industry sources suggest that Apple will grow MacBook shipments by as much as 50 percent in 2012, vastly outdoing the pace of Windows PCs, even if the latter will likely still be the most dominant computer platform by far.
Next-gen MacBook Pro 15-inch to lead redesign
More details have emerged about the next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro, if 9to5Mac’s sources are correct. As with the first unibody MacBook Pro range, where the 15-inch model led the redesign, Apple is expected to reveal its latest MacBook Pro reboot with a 15-inch model. The inclusion of Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors will allow a thinner design, that will drop its optical drive, center on a new ‘jaw-dropping’ super high resolution Retina Display and also incorporate USB 3.0 ports.
Can use dual USB 3 port for up to 10Gb per second
HighPoint Technologies has launched two new Mac and PC compatible external storage solutions using USB 3.0 for a theoretical speed of up to 5Gb per second per port, or 10Gb per second total possible throughput in the dual-bay, "toaster" design RocketStor Smart Backup and RocketStore Smart RAID. The units can accommodate two SATA standard-size HDD and SSDs up to 6Gb per second in speed and can work with add-on USB 3 PCI-E cards.
32GB, 65GB USB 3.0 flash drives also announced
Toshiba announced two USB 3.0 accessories in its mobile lineup, a universal docking station and a 15.6-inch portable LED monitor. The dynadock U3.0 is a universal USB 3.01 docking station equipped with a total of six USB ports, four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0. Two of the front ports allow users to charge other devices while the laptop is powered down, sleeping or undocked.
Statement confirms earlier reports
Confirming earlier reports, the USB Implementers Forum has made a formal announcement that Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge chipset has received certification for USB 3.0. The confirmation notes that the company's i7-series chipsets will be capable of supporting up to four USB 3.0 ports.
Two-port card supports single disk and RAID
HighPoint Technologies is now shipping a USB 3.0 card designed specifically for Mac Pros and OS X 10.7 Lion, the RocketU Dual USB 3 for Mac. The two-port PCI-E 2.0 card supports both single disk and RAID configurations (0, 1 and JBOD) and is optimized for USB 3 hard drives and SSDs. The card features dual type-A ports, is fully backward-compatible with USB 1.1 and USB 2 devices and can be installed into any free PCI-E slot.
Kingston HyperX thumb drive is up to 256GB
Kingston has just unveiled the DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 USB flash drive. The fastest product of its kind from the company, it attains speeds of up to 225MBps when reading and 135MBps when writing thanks to its USB 3.0 technology and HyperX SSD. The drive is available in 64-, 128- and 256GB capacities.
Connects display at resolutions up to 2560x1600
DisplayLink, a chip maker which specializes in providing links between monitors and computers, demonstrated the first implementation of a USB 3.0 to HDMI graphics adapter. At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), currently taking place, the company showed the simply titled USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter made by its partner Winstars. The adapter uses DisplayLink's DL-3500 chip.
More efficient USB 3.0 On-the-Go spec goes live
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group on Wednesday added the USB On-the-Go (OTG) 3.0 and Embedded Host supplement to the USB 3.0 Specification. It allows compatible SuperSpeed USB portable devices to communicate without the need for a PC. They can act either as USB host or USB peripheral through the same connection.
Software stack aims to maintain compatibility
Microsoft has finally demonstrated USB 3.0 compatibility for Windows 8. In the company's engineering blog, Windows team leader Steven Sinofsky pointed out the challenges in adopting the new standard without compromising compatibility with existing hardware and software built for the USB 2.0 protocol. The company worked to design a new USB software stack for the new controller, while retaining the existing software stack for older controllers.
Four dedicated USB 3.0 ports
Mac Pro accessory maker HighPoint Technologies is now offering a quad-port PCI-E 2.0 USB 3.0 RAID HBA called the RocketU designed specifically for Apple's high-end workstation. Each port is capable of the theoretical 5Gb per second performance for a combined theoretical throughput of 20Gb per second (real world use of USB 3.0 tends to be dramatically lower). The card supports both single disk and various RAID configurations including JBOD and RAIDs 0, 1, 5 and 10.
Accepts five formats, works with Win/Mac
Photography accessory maker Phottix is offering a new, USB 3.0 (USB2 compatible) Turbo USB card reader that accepts a wide variety of cards in five main formats: Compact Flash (CF), xD, Memory Stick (MS), MultiMedia Cards (MMC) and Secure Digital (SD), as well as MicroSD. The plug-and-play device is compatible with Windows 2000 or later and Mac OS X. All five card slots can be used at the same time, according to the company.
USB 3.0 Power Delivery Spec to allow up to 100W
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group just revealed it is working on a new power delivery spec for USB cable bus power that will deliver much more power for charging or powering electronics devices. The standard will exist alongside the USB Battery Charging 1.2 specification and deliver up to as much as 100W of power. It will also continue to work with USB 2.0 and original USB 3.0 standards as well as current cables and connectors.
Z-Series aimed at Windows-based tablets
AMD has introduced several new chipsets, including the 9-series for desktop configurations and Z-series for tablets. The 9-series is said to serve as the basis for the company's 'Scorpius' desktop platform, based on AM3+ socket processors such as the eight-core Zambezi. The platform will also integrate six USB 3.0 ports and Radeon HD6000 discrete graphics cards, while allowing users to connect up to four Radeon GPUs.
Lenovo sees USB 3.0 hitting its straps next year
Lenovo sees USB 3.0 going mainstream in 2012. "In 2012 USB 3.0 will be a mainstream technology," Jason Parrish, worldwide product manager for Lenovo ThinkPad, told CNET. "And we see 2011 as the transition year for USB 3.0 as it starts to come into more and more products," he added. However, Parrish also believes that there will be a place for the Thunderbolt interface although it will likely appear only on high-end notebooks.
Could hurt adoption as standard
PC maker HP is, at least for the time being, choosing USB 3.0 over Thunderbolt, according to IDG News. "We did look at [Thunderbolt]. We're still looking into it. Haven't found a value proposition yet," says HP's worldwide marketing manager for desktops, Xavier Lauwaert. Whereas USB 3.0 is backwards-compatible with most USB devices, Thunderbolt is only compatible with native, PCIe and DisplayPort hardware.
System relies on single 3TB disk
I-O Data has quietly introduced an external hard drive, the HDCA-UT3.0K, with three terabytes of storage capacity. The drive is based on one drive, rather than using a multiple-disk configuration that is common to many high-capacity NAS systems. USB 3.0 support enables faster transfer speeds, though the drive is still backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
Intel still waits to jump on board
AMD has confirmed plans to offer several of its chipsets with USB 3.0 integration. The move is expected to provide momentum to USB 3.0 adoption among PC makers, as chipset integration eliminates the need for separate components to handle the newer standard. Market leader Intel, however, has yet to add the same capabilities to its chipsets.
PX-LB950UE Blu-ray writer, 12x speed
Plextor has introduced its PX-LB950UE Blu-ray disc burner. The drive is one of the first external Blu-ray burners to feature superspeed USB3.0 and eSATA connections to maximize data transfer rates for fast reading and writing performance. It is capable of writing to double-layer discs with a maximum capacity of 50GB, which is the equivalent of 10 DVDs, 72 CDs or 9 hours of HD video.
Intel Panther Point may finally add native USB 3
A leaked presentation (below) may have confirmed that Intel's Panther Point chipset will finally add native USB 3.0 support. The presentation refers to the platform supporting as many as four of the ports at full speed with ten more supplying USB 2.0. A dedicated controller, the XHCI, would handle just the 3.0 jacks and would give each of them the full 5Gbps of bandwidth, preventing one from slowing down the other.
Freecom shows magnesium bodied hard drive
Freecom has unveiled the thinnest external hard drive on the market with the Mobile Drive Mg range. It is designed specifically to match Apple MacBooks, and is housed in a lightweight magnesium enclosure. The drive is just 10mm (0.39in) thick, earning it the claimed distinction of being the thinnest in the world.