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Seagate ships USB 3.0-based external hard-drive kit for laptops

Seagate unveils at CES 2010 its first USB 3.0-based external hard-drive kits for laptop computers.

The BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 performance kit from Seagate Seagate

You probably won't be able to get a hold of a motherboard that has a built-in USB 3.0 controller, like the VL810 SuperSpeed from VIA, but if you want the taste of the new USB SuperSpeed, Seagate has something to offer.

The company announced Tuesday at CES 2010 its first USB 3.0 external hard drive all-in-one performance kit for laptops.

The kit comes with both the USB 3.0-based external hard drive, the BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0, and an USB 3.0 add-in controller card. The controller card is a PC card adapter that fits in the PC card slot, available in most notebook computers. The card adds a USB 3.0 port to the computer that can be used with the external hard drive.

The BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 external hard drive itself houses a 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive that spins at 7,200rpm. The kit also comes with a power cable for the hard drive, which draws power from another USB port, and, according to Seagate, promises to deliver throughput speeds up to three times faster than other USB 2.0-based external hard drives (up to 100MBps).

Note that while this is quite fast, it's still about five times slower than the potential speed of the USB 3.0 specification, which is up to 5Gbps. This is possibly because the internal bus speed of the PC card is the bottle neck.

Like other 2.5-inch-based BlackArmor external hard drives, the BlackArmor USB 3.0 boasts a super slim design, at just 12.5 millimeters thick.

The BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 all-in-one performance kit ships with the Acronis business-grade backup suite, automated full-system backup, and SafetyDrill+ software, which allows for fast backup and recovery. The kit, which is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, comes with a generous five-year warranty.

It will take a while to find a laptop that has a built-in USB 3.0 controller. In the meantime, the BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 performance kit contains everything you need to upgrade your laptop to take advantage of USB 3.0 speeds. The kit is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and is available immediately Seagate. It costs $180.