Like the USB 2.0 version, the Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 comes with Acronis-based backup software that allows for easy backing up and restoring of data. You can choose to back up the computer's main hard drive and restore the whole system to the point when the backup was created, or you can restore a few single files by mounting a backup as a virtual drive. The software also allows for encrypting the backups with AES 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe in case the drive is lost or stolen. Unfortunately, the backup software only works for Windows. If you have a Mac, you'll need to get another third-party backup software or use Time Machine, Apple's proprietary backup solution available in OS X 10.5 or later.
Cost per gigabyte
With the price tag of $180, the BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 costs about 36 cents per gigabyte. This is slightly more expensive than the 32 cents per gigabyte of the original USB 2.0 BlackArmor PS 110 or the 30 cents per gigabyte of the Iomega eGo Portable. Nonetheless, this is still much lower than the 56 cents per gigabyte of the Clickfree Portable Backup Drive. Considering its speed, great design, and the added laptop PC card, we find that BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 offers very good value for the money.
(Smaller bars indicate better performance.)
When connected to a computer via a USB 3.0 port, the Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 is by far the fastest external hard drive we've tested with scores more than double those of even the fastest USB 2.0 external hard drives.
In the USB 3.0 write test, the drive scored 72 megabytes per second compared to 24.7 megabytes per second of the Iomega eGo, which is the second fastest. In the USB 3.0 read test, the BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0, interestingly, did worse than its write test at 59.4 megabytes per second. Still, this is about twice the read speed of even the fastest USB 2.0 hard drives. With USB 2.0 hard drives, generally the write speed tends to be slower than the read speed. This is reversed in the case of the BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0.
When connected to a computer via a USB 2.0 port, the BlackArmor PS 110 was still among the fastest USB 2.0 external hard drives with a write test speed of 25 megabytes per second and the read test speed of 29.6 megabytes per second.
There will be more USB 3.0-based external hard drives coming out in the near future and we can't wait to see how the BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 will stack up to them. For now, it's by far the fastest USB external hard drive we've seen.
(Longer bars indicate better performance.)
Service and support
When it comes to external hard drives, nothing is more important than its warranty, and nobody can beat Seagate in this regard. The company backs the BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 with a generous five-year limited warranty. Seagate will replace any defective drives under warranty, and you can even choose to upgrade to a larger/newer drive for a discounted price. The company's telephone support is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday, and you can find a comprehensive list of FAQs and an external hard-drive knowledge base at its Web site.