New USB 3.0 Laptop and Storage—Tested!

Conclusion: USB 3.0 at Home and On the Go

At the end of the day, both the Western Digital MyBook 3.0 and the Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 are well-suited for their respective environments. The MyBook 3.0 is an excellent addition to any desktop setup. Whether you're using the MyBook as a media monster or a backup drive only, the high transfer speeds will please any power user. Plus, if you lack 3.0 on your motherboard, the included PCIe card gives you two USB 3.0 ports to play with.

The BlackArmor PS 110 is a great portable external drive, especially if it's paired with a laptop with USB 3.0 onboard. The included Express Card makes older laptops 3.0-friendly, but the system is a tad cumbersome. The included backup software is also a pleasure to use and should make backing up your media, or even your entire OS, a breeze.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, the ASUS N61Jq-X1 is well-priced at $1099.99. While the removal of the Blu-ray drive makes us frown; USB 3.0, the new Core i7 CPU, and DirectX 11 graphics are delightful additions. The 5730 graphics will only get better with age in the short term, because new mobile drivers are on the way from ATI directly, as Chris Angelini of Tom's Hardware pointed out a few days ago. While the N61 doesn't quite fit the mold for a desktop replacement, it is powerful enough to handle the newest PC games while powering through your everyday tasks like Microsoft Office, HD video play, and transcoding audio in iTunes.

Enter our Newegg and Tom’s Guide Cracking the Egg contest and win all of the USB 3.0-compatible products in this article.

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16 comments
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  • 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.
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  • Go the extra mile and compare these to eSATA solutions, please! Will USB 3 be an improvement over eSATA?
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  • 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
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • I want that laptop in the worst way. It's $999 on Amazon too.
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
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  • The qualifying questions has some funny answers, I was really tempted to answer all wrong :P.
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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!!!
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