USB 3.0 Portable Drive Roundup

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In our recent roundup of USB 3.0 testing, we tested six portable hard drives to see how much faster USB 3.0 was compared with USB 2.0. Beyond speeds, however, the drives offer up different features and functions, as well as style and designs.

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Buffalo Technology MiniStation Cobalt USB 3.0

Buffalo Technology MiniStation Cobalt USB 3.0

Best USB 3.0 speeds: 95.83 MB/sec. read, 57.96 MB/sec. write
Best USB 2.0 speeds: 30.10 MB/sec. read, 21.68 MB/sec. write

Other features: TurboPC (speeds transfers even more); TurboCopy, backup utility, RAMDISK Utility, SecureLock, optional software includes ecoManager and DiskFormatter. Works with PC and Mac systems.

Price: $96 (buy.com)

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex

Best USB 3.0 speeds: 95.87 MB/sec. read, 58.36 MB/sec. write
Best USB 2.0 speeds: 30.81 MB/sec. read, 21.98 MB/sec. write

Other features: GoFlex cable/adapter lets you switch between USB 2.0, USB 3.0 or eSATA cables (sold separately), which future-proofs the drive against new speed technology; automatic continuous backup software, Seagate Dashboard includes file encryption, utilities and optional software downloads (Memeo Backup, Synch).

Price: $138.70 (buy.com)

Toshiba Canvio 3.0 Plus portable hard drive

Toshiba Canvio 3.0 Plus portable hard drive

Best USB 3.0 speeds: 94.19 MB/sec. read, 58.20 MB/sec. write
Best USB 2.0 speeds: 30.35 MB/sec. read, 21.70 MB/sec. write

Other features: Preloaded backup software (NTI BackupNow EZ), 256-bit data encryption, drive space alerts (when low on backup capacity), internal shock sensor, rubberized edges.

Price: $97 (buy.com)

WD My Passport Essential SE

WD My Passport Essential SE

Best USB 3.0 speeds: 91.46 MB/sec. read, 54.55 MB/sec. write
Best USB 2.0 speeds: 30.47 MB/sec. read, 21.13 MB/sec. write

Other features: WD SmartWare software (single-screen view of your data), automatic backup, password protection.

Price: $160 (WD Store)

Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive

Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive

Best USB 3.0 speeds: 92.56 MB/sec. read, 54.52 MB/sec. write
Best USB 2.0 speeds: 29.43 MB/sec. read, 21.17 MB/sec. write

Other features: Drop Guard Xtreme and Protection Suite software (Trend Micro, Iomega QuikProtect, Retrospect Express and MozyHome Online), Power Grip Band to prevent drops.

Price: $117.99 (buy.com)

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 portable hard drive

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 portable hard drive

Best USB 3.0 speeds: 81.87 MB/sec. read, 55.95 MB/sec. write
Best USB 2.0 speeds: 30.16 MB/sec. read, 21.47 MB/sec. write

Other features: Interchangeable rubberized protection sleeves (sold separately); shock proof protection against drops; compatible with Mac OS and PCs.

Price: $120 (buy.com)

Other USB 3.0 stories:

USB 3.0: First hard drives arrive

USB 3.0 finally arrives

USB 3.0: Five things you need to know