Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 (500 GB)

New USB 3.0 Laptop and Storage—Tested!
By

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)

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 16 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 4 Hide
    jrocks84 , February 24, 2010 7:15 AM
    I'd have to say that the laptop has really good value. I'd love if I could win the contest, but it's too bad it's only eligible for people in the US.
  • 4 Hide
    bmgoodman , February 24, 2010 11:16 AM
    Go the extra mile and compare these to eSATA solutions, please! Will USB 3 be an improvement over eSATA?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2010 12:40 PM
    Not too impressive. Considering USB 3.0 is supposed to be x10 compared with USB 2.0, why is it only achieving x2 throughput?

    It is definitely not the drive as a bottleneck- I have 2 bog-standard 1 TB Hitachi drives- one as internal sata and 1 as esata (they both have the same contents) when tested by ATTO benchmark the write/read speeds for the eSATA is 100/104 MB/s and the iSATA gives 80/100 MB/S. Im not sure why the isata write speed is slower than the esata, but both greatly exceed the USB3.0 speeds reported here.
    BTW: when the disk is connected by USB2.0 it gives speeds of around 25-28 MB/s and the two disks tested by HDTach max at around 110 MB/s with bursts of around 160MB/s
  • 0 Hide
    jenesuispasbavard , February 24, 2010 6:32 PM
    bmgoodmanGo the extra mile and compare these to eSATA solutions, please! Will USB 3 be an improvement over eSATA?

    I was wondering the same thing. I use my external hard drive over eSATA and it is not even close to the maximum eSATA throughput of 3.0 Gbps. I don't think this will be a big improvement (or any at all), unless you use SSDs that don't even exist yet.
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , February 24, 2010 7:09 PM
    The drive inside of the enclosure is probably running SATA, with an adapter to convert to USB, so the USB 3 probably can't be any faster than SATA.
  • 1 Hide
    godwhomismike , February 25, 2010 4:12 AM
    I want that laptop in the worst way. It's $999 on Amazon too.
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , February 25, 2010 12:25 PM
    I guess the 5730 is not really all that fast?

    It only gets 5,900 something on 3DMark06. My Alienware m15x with 9800GT hits 9800 on 3dMark06 and with a slight OC over 10,000.
  • 1 Hide
    wayneepalmer , February 25, 2010 3:19 PM
    Can't wait until SATA 6 drives (especially SSD) get down to where my wife stops threatening to empty the knife drawer at me for mentioning the word "hardware".
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 25, 2010 4:24 PM
    Wierd, i own this laptop and get ~8000ish in 3dmark 06 as do the other people on newegg and in the asus forums. Also most of us recieved 1333 ram with the laptop instead of 1066.
  • 0 Hide
    shiroikaze , February 26, 2010 5:12 AM
    The qualifying questions has some funny answers, I was really tempted to answer all wrong :p .
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , February 26, 2010 8:22 AM
    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.
  • -2 Hide
    bobwya , February 26, 2010 8:27 AM
    Quote:
    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.


    Funny that because I put a WD 750Gb 2.5" drive in my sister's laptop last year. OK so it's 12mm high - but it's still a 2.5" form factor. I didn't have any problems installing it (no need for a hacksaw). The WD Velociraptor I have at 15mm high might be pushing things a bit!! Sorry for being so pedantic...
  • 2 Hide
    dconnors , February 26, 2010 9:15 AM
    bobwyaFunny that because I put a WD 750Gb 2.5" drive in my sister's laptop last year. OK so it's 12mm high - but it's still a 2.5" form factor. I didn't have any problems installing it (no need for a hacksaw). The WD Velociraptor I have at 15mm high might be pushing things a bit!! Sorry for being so pedantic...



    ::crowd groans::

    Let's be serious, you know what I mean when I am talking about a 2.5-inch drive in an external - I am talking about a notebook hard drive. However, I am actually wrong...I forgot that Samsung and WD have 640 GB notebook drives out now.
  • 1 Hide
    FilthPig2004 , February 28, 2010 11:04 PM
    dconnors::crowd groans::Let's be serious, you know what I mean when I am talking about a 2.5-inch drive in an external - I am talking about a notebook hard drive. However, I am actually wrong...I forgot that Samsung and WD have 640 GB notebook drives out now.


    Actually, you can buy WD's WD10TPVT (1TB) notebook drive right now on Amazon.
  • 0 Hide
    FilthPig2004 , February 28, 2010 11:21 PM
    AnonymousNot too impressive. Considering USB 3.0 is supposed to be x10 compared with USB 2.0, why is it only achieving x2 throughput? It is definitely not the drive as a bottleneck-...


    It is. I'll guess that the BlackArmor is using a Momentus 7200.2. Here are the specs.

    http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=412
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 29, 2010 8:45 AM
    For the price of that laptop , I would rather buy a M1 Garand or a shotgun or alot of lapdances and beer at the strip club!!!
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS