Freecom is the first company to announce a USB 3.0 external hard disk. The Hard Drive XS 3.0 uses the new, speedier interface to enable transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s. The drive will be available in November in capacities of 1, 1.5 and 2TB.
Freecom is pretty enthusiastic about the new interface:
“The rapid transfer speeds of USB 3.0 are going to make sharing information easier than ever before, and with the rise of interactive web applications and new media showing no signs of slowing, it’s arrived just in time,” said Axel Lucassen, managing director. “From downloaded TV programmes to digital photos and music, data-rich files are abundant both at home and in the office. The Hard Drive XS 3.0 is the first drive in the world to enable users to back up even the biggest files at unprecedented speeds, combining the latest technology with style and practicality to bring a new breed of hard drive to an increasingly demanding market.”
The USB 2.0 standard tops out at 480 Mbit/s, or about 50 MB/s. Since the average hard drive can easily reach speeds over 100 MB/s, the USB 3.0 uprade to 4.8 Gbit/s is sorely needed. The interface is backwards compatible, so it will still work with older computers. That should make it more popular than the alternative eSATA interface.
For those that wish to benefit from the maximum available speed, Freecom offers a USB 3.0 controller for desktops (€ 25.95) and laptops (€ 29.95). According to Techworld, drivers are provided for Windows Vista and XP; MacOS X users and early adopters of Windows 7 will have to wait for a while. The drive itself will be available with a starting price of € 119 for the 1TB version.