Get a 500GB portable USB 3.0 hard drive for $79

Finally, a drive that can take advantage of that lonely USB 3.0 port on your new laptop. This slim, speedy Seagate is perfect for backups.

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra portable hard drive offers USB 3.0 performance (and USB 2.0 compatibility).
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra portable hard drive offers USB 3.0 performance (and USB 2.0 compatibility). Dell

Ever wonder why USB 3.0 hasn't really caught on? Most flash drives and external hard drives are still chugging along on USB 2.0, and most of the latest laptops have just one USB 3.0 port. Some have none at all. (I'm looking at you, brand-new Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5511.)

That's a shame, because in real-world tests, USB 3.0 has proven to be around 3.5 times faster than USB 2.0. That means a full-system backup that previously took an hour should get done in less than 20 minutes.

Maybe things will change now that Intel has finally added USB 3.0 support to its chips . In any case, if you own a system that has at least one USB 3.0 port, you should definitely have a hard drive that can take advantage of it.

For a limited time, Dell Home has the Seagate 500GB FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra portable USB 3.0 hard drive for $78.99 shipped. (The product page shows $99.99, but you'll see the lower price when you add it to your cart.)

If that sounds steep for a 500GB drive, remember that portable hard drives (those small enough to be stow in a briefcase and run on USB-supplied power) always carry a premium relative to their desktop counterparts. And USB 3.0 peripherals carry a premium as well.

The FreeAgent GoFlex measures 0.6 inch tall by 3.3 inches wide by 4.3 inches deep and weighs just 5.3 ounces. It's compatible with Windows and Mac systems and comes with a three-year warranty. Dell's product page has just three user reviews, but they're all five stars. And CNET loved it; check the video review below.

Seagate's bundled software offers automated, continuous backup, meaning you don't actually have to remember to perform this important task yourself; it just happens in the background, all the time. That alone makes this a worthwhile buy, IMHO.

Like? No like? Share your USB 3.0-powered thoughts in the comments.

Bonus deal: For a limited time, Amazon MP3 is offering more than 500 albums for $2.99 (each). Some fairly high-profile stuff, too, including Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die," Daft Punk's "Tron: Legacy," Coldplay's "Mylo Xyloto," and Pink Floyd's "The Wall." And you've still got time to score that $2 Amazon MP3 credit , meaning you can actually score an album for just 99 cents!

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