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Kingston Data Traveler HyperX Thumb Drive Goes USB 3.0

The arrival of the USB 3.0 interface is great news for dealing with today's big hard disk drives that are crossing into terabytes of capacity -- since you can move data between your computer and external storage at least four to five times faster (see earlier posts on the Seagate Goflex line and the LaCie Rugged portable line).

But as interface speeds get faster, the limiting constraint becomes the spinning magnetic disks in the hard drive. Thus the interest in Solid-State Drives (SSD), particularly to replace hard disks as the internal drive for laptops (see earlier post) -- not only for faster start-up and access, but also for ruggedness, lower weight, and lower power usage (albeit still at significantly higher cost).

So USB flash drives (aka thumb drives) seem a natural next step for USB 3.0, since they're already built with solid-state flash memory.

For example, check out the new Kingston Data Traveler HyperX 3.0, featuring a USB 3.0 interface that runs 7 1/2 times faster than USB 2.0 drives! As a bonus, it's built rugged with a metal casing and rubberized grips.

Over a USB 3.0 interface, the HyperX 3.0 sports transfer rates of 225 MB/s for reading and 135 MB/s for writing. Compare that to the USB 2.0 rates of 30 MB/s for both read and write.

But here's the fun comparison -- desktop USB 3.0 hard drives quote bus speed rates of up to 130 MB/s, while this thumb drive with flash memory can go some 1.75 times faster.

And since the HyperX 3.0 is available in capacities up to 256 GB, you're looking at a seriously interesting replacement for a portable hard drive that is ridiculously smaller and faster.

The trade-off, of course, is cost, since the Data Traveler HyperX 3.0 is priced at $193 ($142 street) for 64 GB capacity, $377 ($279 street) for 128 GB, and maybe $870 for 256 GB.

In comparison, you can find a basic 64 GB USB 2.0 drive starting at around $65. Or a pocket-sized spinning disk such as the Seagate GoFlex Portable hard drive with USB 3.0 interface with 320 GB for around $79 -- and pile on more capacity with only incremental cost increases -- around $89 for 500 GB, $119 for 750 GB, $129 for 1 TB, and $149 for a whopping 1.5 TB.

What a wonderful array of choices for saving and carrying your files -- and getting at them quicker.

See my article for Videomaker magazine for more on USB 3.0: USB 3.0: Same Great Interface, Ten Times Faster.

See my Portable Storage Gallery for details and comparisons on flash memory cards, USB drives, and hard disk storage.

And see my Holiday Gadgets 2011: Portable and Wireless feature for more on storage and other holiday goodies.

Find the Kingston Data Traveler HyperX 3.0 on Amazon.com

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This entry posted on November 30, 2011.

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