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Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 (500 GB)

New USB 3.0 Laptop and Storage—Tested!
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While the MyBook 3.0 is more at home sitting on your desk than it is in the den, the BlackArmor PS 110 from Seagate is a mobile USB 3.0 powerhouse. With 500 GB of storage (465 GB in NTFS), the PS 110 is based on a 2.5" 7,200 rpm drive from Seagate. Because the PS 110 is based on a smaller form factor hard drive, the dimensions (3.15"x0.49"x5.12") and weight (0.8 pounds) are significantly lower than the MyBook 3.0. Since 500 GB is the largest size available inside notebooks today (without using two drives in RAID, of course), the PS 110 is the perfect candidate for an automatic backup drive paired to a laptop.

Speaking of automatic backup, the PS 110 includes BlackArmor Backup software, which has a number of different features. From backing up specific folders, to full system mirroring, to creating backup CDs (or just the ISO of a CD), BlackArmor Backup is one of the better pieces of backup software we’ve seen recently.

Like Western Digital including a PCIe USB 3.0 card with the MyBook 3.0, Seagate understands that USB 3.0 is a brand new standard. So, for those who don’t have a laptop with USB 3.0 onboard, an Express Card with one USB 3.0 port is included. While this makes the PS 110 compatible with most laptops available, the card also takes up one of your USB 2.0 ports via a dongle, apparently for additional power. This isn’t the best setup, but it will do in a pinch. We didn't have a chance to test the Express Card solution because the dongle cable couldn't reach a second USB port. Both Seagate and Asus share the blame, because a) you shouldn't need something like this USB dongle cable to begin with and b) The USB 3.0 port on the N61Jq-X1 is alone on the left side of the computer, so there was no other USB port within reach.

If you do have a laptop with USB 3.0 built-in (like the Asus we are testing), then the PS 110 needs only one port for power and data.

We tested the PS 110 with the same machines (N61Jq-X1, desktop with USB 3.0 onboard) as the MyBook. However, the overall read and write speeds are slightly slower with the smaller drive.

File TypeSize (MB)Write Speed (Desktop)Read Speed (Desktop)Write Speed (Laptop)Read Speed (Laptop)
Combined
5891.62
41.2 MB/s81.83 MB/s38.01 MB/s54.05 MB/s
Documents
62.3
10.38 MB/s12.46 MB/s6.23 MB/s15.58 MB/s
Video
4479.18
65.87 MB/s78.58 MB/s52.7 MB/s72.24 MB/s
Photos
769
32.04 MB/s64.08 MB/s21.97 MB/s59.15 MB/s
Music
581
36.31 MB/s83 MB/s27.7 MB/s64.6 MB/s

That's fast portable storage, though. Enter our Newegg and Tom’s Guide Cracking the Egg contest and win all of the USB 3.0-compatible products in this article.

Even with the slower speeds, the PS 110 still whizzes past what the fastest USB 2.0 drives are capable of. However, like the MyBook 3.0, this speed comes at a high price of $179.99, which is a lot to spend on a 500 GB external, but if you feel the need for speed, then try one on for size.

Read customer reviews of the Seagate BlackArmor PS 100 (500GB)

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