The first is the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCIe add-in card for desktops. The Second is the SuperSpeed 3.0 ExpressCard for laptops. Both add two USB 3.0 ports to existing hardware. And both, according to Belkin, pump data transfer speeds up to three times that of USB 2.0. (Which is a tad below USB 3.0’s theoretical upward limit of five times USB 2.0.)
The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) introduced a bunch of new SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) peripherals with more to come. With USB 3.0 promising performance as much as ten times faster than USB 2.0, you'll want to add USB 3.0's digital goodness to your system as soon as you can. So, what do you need to know to make it work? Whether you have a desktop or mobile PC, we survey your options and help you zero in on your best choices.
Do you need USB 3.0 ports on your laptop right now? If you positively cannot wait, StarTech has you covered. Well, as long as you have an ExpressCard slot. Their new USB 3.0 card adapter will get the job done by adding 2 USB 3.0 ports to your current lappy. However, this is one of those products that comes fully equipped with caveats.
Each USB 3.0 port requires 900mA to run. Since an ExpressCard slot doesn’t output that much current, StarTech has included an AC adapter. Yep, you’ll need an AC adapter for your USB ports. Then there’s the card itself, which is already on the chunky side. Having this hanging off the side of a laptop seems like a bad idea. If carrying all this extra weight around sounds reasonable to you, it can be yours for a mere $50.
OCZ's making a pitch for its new Slate Series ExpressCard, a storage expansion drive the company claims is better suited than USB flash devices and external hard drives.
Compatible with USB 2.0
18 MB/sec read
12.5 MB/sec write
Voltage: 2.7V - 3.6V
The new ExpressCard storage drives aren't going to win any speed crowns, so OCZ is touting convenience and low power consumption over alternative backup solutions. Users who don't like to lug around external hard drives or who are prone to bumping into USB keys sticking out of a notebook may find appeal in an ExpressCard that stays put and out of the way.
Specific pricing and availability has not yet been announced, though OCZ did say its new Slate Series will come in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities.
Watch TV on the go, you say? Leadtek says 'yes' with the announcement of its new hybrid TV capture card. The WinFast ExDTV2300 H supports the ExpressCard interface, with features that include:
DVB-T and worldwide analog TV reception (NTSC, SECAM, and PAL)
Component input video up to 480p
Full screen stereo/SAP support
DVB-T and FM Radio
The capture card comes with Leadtek's WinFast PVR2 software, which boasts Time Shifting, Scheduled Recording, Power on/off by Remote, and TwinView. Even better, Leadtek throws in an I/R remote allowing you to level-up your couch potato skill-set, whether you're home or not.
Could this be a growing trend? Last year Pinaccle introduced its PCTV HD Pro Stick, a bus-power tuner sized just right for notebooks. Unfortunately, performance was marred by somewhat slow channel surfing, nor did it work with unencrypted QAM signals, but in its favor, Gordon Mah Ung noted the dual-core notebook used to test the device never broke a sweat while playing back or recording HDTV content. This also begs the question; do notebook owners prefer an ExpressCard TV tuner over a USB-based one?