If you've been holding out for an HP notebook with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, your wait is over. According to HP spokeswoman Sheila Watson, certain Envy 15 configurations with USB 3.0 ports have begun shipping and are ready to order.
"HP Direct (our online store) does now sell the Envy 15 with the USB 3.0 along with the new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5830 Graphics (DX11)," Watson said in an email to CNET.
The Envy 15, which HP touts as the world's thinnest quad-core laptop, isn't the only notebook in HP's lineup to receive the USB 3.0 treatment. Watson says the SuperSpeed port will also soon find its way onto its EliteBook 8540p and 8540w models "in a couple of weeks." The EliteBook is HP's high end business laptop line.
USB 2.0 may have reigned supreme for most of 2009, but now it's USB 3.0's time to shine in the limelight. Wasting no time in the new year, Seagate used CES to unveil its BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 portable external hard drive "performance kit" designed for laptops.
"As people continue to amass vast libraries of high-definition photos, movies, and music, the storage needs of US households are forecast to grow more than ten times between 2009 and 2013, and the average digital media storage requirements will exceed a terabyte by 2013," said Kurt Schreff, vice president and principle analyst of Parks Associates.
Seagate's latest BlackArmor extrnal HDD kit packs a 500GB 7200RPM 2.5-inch portable hard drive, power cable, and PC Express card. And because it's built around the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec, Seagate says you can expect sustained transfer rates in the neighborhood of 100MB/s, which is three times faster than current USB 2.0 devices, the company claims. That boils down to transferring a 25GB HD movie in about 4 minutes, compared to 14 minutes using a USB 2.0 drive.
Seagate says the new drive is available now with an MSRP set at $180.
Two companies were competing with each other and time to roll out the world's first USB 3.0 hard rive. In the end, it proved to be an anti-climax as one of those two companies, Freecom, failed to deliver the USB 3.0 hard drive that it had announced back in September. It has now pushed back the launch to next year.
The hard drive is three times as nimble as any USB 2.0 drive, and understandably so. Buffalo has also announced the IFC-PCIE2U3, a two-port PCI-E card to help potential DriveStation HD-HXU3 buyers overcome the lack of USB 3.0 support on their PCs. The drive will be available in three capacities: 1TB ($200), 1.5TB ($250), and 2TB ($400) .
“CyberPower customers can configure and order a Gamer Xtreme system with the super speed USB 3.0/SATA III interface today. With Intel's latest i5/i7 processors and P55/X58 chipsets, you'll enjoy maximum performance today and be ready for tomorrow. Both USB 3.0 and SATA III are backward compatible to assure users their current peripherals will not become obsolete,” the company said in a laconic press release. The Gamer Xtreme range starts at $749.
"All PCs, and most PC peripherals have transitioned from full-speed to high-speed. Most of these devices will eventually transition to SuperSpeed, the only issue is the speed of the transition," said Brian O’Rouke, an analyst with In-Stat. As per In-Stat’s prognosis, Superspeed USB 3.0 devices will capture 25% of the USB market by 2013, with USB-enabled computer mice persisting as the most populous USB-enabled device category.
There's been a lot of buzz on the internet in the past few days about the speed of USB 3.0. Some sites are reporting that recent tests of the new standard are producing slower-than-expected results, and many readers are confused about how realistic the touted theoretical bandwidth of 5000 megabits/sec really is. We spoke with Jeff Ravencraft, President of the USB Implementer's Forum, (who also gave us our first look at USB 3.0 back at last year's IDF conference) to set the matter straight and get a demo of the latest SuperSpeed hardware in action.
Read on to find out what speeds you can really expect from USB 3.0!
Toms Hardware reports that Intel’s "Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) draft specification revision 0.9 in support of the USB 3.0 architecture, also known as SuperSpeed USB" is now available. This is a good indicator that we might see the first USB 3.0 demonstrations at next week’s IDF in San Francisco.
xHCI draft specification provides hardware component designers, system builders and device driver developers with a description of the hardware/software interface between system software. It is being made available under RAND-Z (i.e. royalty free) licensing terms to all USB 3.0 Promoter Group and contributor companies that sign an xHCI contributor agreement.
It doesn’t appear that the new spec will be backward compatible past USB 2.0. I find it hard to believe that USB 1.1 devices will be out of luck, so I plan to keep an eye on that aspect. USB 3.0 at 600 MB/s will offer a ten-fold increase in the bandwidth of USB 2.0 at 4.8 Gb/s. That is pretty impressive if it approaches it’s spec yield. USB 2.0 spec rate is 480 Mbit/s but typical USB PC-hosts rarely exceed sustained transfers of 280 Mbit/s.
Will you be wanting USB 3.0 on your future system?