StarTech USB 3.0 Products AnnouncedWritten by John Thompson on April 3, 2010 · Filed under Tech
One of the many frustrating parts of life is watching a file transfer crawl from one device to another. We’ve all been there and wished that USB 2.0 was oh-so-faster, and now it is with the fairly recent introduction of the USB 3.0 connectivity standard.
Although USB 3.0 has been around for a while, it’s still not been adopted as quickly as some might have hoped despite a few high speed USB 3.0 external hard disks being announced back at CES 2010. Lucky for us, there’s been a plethora of StarTech USB 3.0 devices announced to join their product line, ranging from interface cards to hubs to storage!
USB 3.0 Interface Cards
Amongst the announcements made were two interface cards, with both the desktop and portable markets accommodated for. The 2 port PCI Express Card offers an easy upgrade for desktop users with a spare PCI connection on their motherboard. It expands connection options, offering 2 high speed USB 3.0 ports for compatible devices.
If you’re a laptop user, you’ll be glad to know that there’s also a USB 3.0 ExpressCard available for notebook computers with a spare ExpressCard expansion slot, also offering an extra two ports. Remember that these USB 3.0 ports are backwards compatible too, so they can be used with older USB 2.0 (480Mbps) and USB 1.1 (12Mbps) devices. The PCI card is available for £36.41, with the ExpressCard coming in at £39.94.
USB 3.0 External Storage
One of the more interesting releases included in the announcement was the inclusion of an external hard drive docking station utilising USB 3.0 for high transfer speeds. The dock supports both 2.5” and 3.5” SATA hard drives. Using USB 3.0, speeds of up to 5Gbps can be achieved – a vast improvement over USB 2.0 speeds of 480Mbps.
You can hot swap the hard drives that are docked using the device, and it’s plug and play so no drivers are needed – just plug it in and you’re good to go. Purchased on its own, it costs £65.79, although you also purchase it bundled with either of the previously mentioned interface cards: PCI or ExpressCard. Again, this is backwards compatible, but to be getting the best speeds possible you should have a spare USB 3.0 port to plug the dock in to.
USB 3.0 Cables
Understandably, the release of new cables isn’t as exciting as interface cards and external storage, but they’re still key to your every day operation of USB 3.0 devices! StarTech have announced a variety of differently connected cables ranging from 3 ft to 10 ft in length.
USB 3.0 Hubs and Adapters
The last items announced by StarTech were two products allowing for easier use of peripherals with USB 3.0. A USB 3.0 to SATA adapter was announced, which allows you to connect any SATA hard drive to your computer via USB to transfer data. This experience is going to be a whole lot quicker than previously with faster USB data speeds, so if you find yourself connecting hard drives often via USB, you may want to consider the purchase of a newer adapter.
As well as this, a USB 3.0 hub was announced, so you can connect more peripherals without having to take up as much space inside your machine. Just connect the hub to a single USB port and you can connect many more devices.
USB 3.0 Availability
All of these StarTech USB 3.0 products are available from StarTech.com, as well as e-tailers such as Dabs, Misco, Insight, Dell and Amazon.