is a name that most people know. They are recognized as one of the industry leaders in storage technology. After the acquisition of Maxtor, Seagate began branching out into the world of portable storage in a much more aggressive way. Their FreeAgent
line of external drives are very well put together and cover very wide range of user types. We have had more than a few Seagate products in the Bright Lab and have always been impressed with what they can do. Today we take a look and an update to one of their existing products. This is the USB 3.0 Flavor of the BlackArmor PS-110. We will take a hard look and let you know if the claims of 3x the speed from USB3.0 are true or not.The Box
As I have said before I like the new direction that Seagate is taking with their packaging. It shows a nice move towards the "green". Instead of using highly processed and colored cardboard stock Seagate has gone with a more industrial looking stock and the images and logos are inked on during the printing process. In fact you do not even have to see the Recycled logo on the top of the box to know that is what it is. The prominent 5-year warranty logo will surely catch your eye though.
But even with the new card stock you get a good idea of what you are getting with the new PS-110 USB 3.0 Performance Kit.
The back of the box is even more informative than the front. It shows you everything you get when you buy the PS-110 and a small screen shot of the backup software included.
The side of the box gives you an idea of the size of the drive; which is a nice touch.
Inside the box we do find a small step back from the greener side. All of the contents of the PS-110 kit are inside a plastic clam shell and the drive is inside a plastic bag. Now I know that you can recycle plastics [and I do] but I still would like to see Seagate and others move to more recycled paper for internal packing.
After you "de-shell" the kit you find that Seagate has included everything you need to get going. You have an Express34 card, a USB 3.0 Cable and a USB power cable to provide adequate power to the USB 3.0 card. There is of course the Quick Start guide that does have a couple of handy little tips to make sure everything is setup properly.
The Kit Unveiled
After we broke open the shell we were able to take a look at the new drive and adapter. As noted before the drive is USB3.0 [called SuperSpeed USB by some] for connectivity but Seagate has also increased the spindle speed of the internal drive, bumping it up to 7200RPM from the original 5400 RPM. But other than USB3.0 and spindle speed the drive is pretty much the same as the original PS-110. It maintains the same dimensions and weight and use will be identical to the original.
As you can see the new USB3.0 Performance kit really only changes the port on the back and adds in the USB3.0 Express card. To use the card you will need to connect the drive to the express card and the power cable to an open USB 2.0 port on your system.
The included USB 3.0 Express card packs an NEC USB 3.0 controller. This is the same one that is on most motherboards now [it is pretty much the only one available much like Via was back in the day of USB 1.0].
This card works best on newer laptops [less than 3 years old]. When I ran it on an older system with an express card slot I ran into not only performance but simply connectivity issues. Including being told I had to format my drive before use.
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