If you have a notebook computer that you’d like to connect to a USB 3.0 device, you now have your chance without upgrading to a new computer. Both Transcend and Startech have launched USB 3.0 ExpressCard adapters that promise to be convenient and economical solutions.
Both of the USB 3.0 ExpressCards are remarkably similar in design and specification, with the exception of port arrangement. Each has two USB 3.0 ports, but while Startech arranged their ports in a stacked fashion, Transcend chose to use a side-by-side design instead.
The USB 3.0 standard integrated in the cards will enable you to transfer data at up to 5Gbps, up to ten times faster than USB 2.0. It is possible to transfer 25GB of data in only 70 seconds, while the same amount of data would take approximately 14 minutes with a USB 2.0 connection. For laptop users who frequently backup data to an external hard drive, the time savings that a USB 3.0 connection would provide could be a huge benefit.
Both cards should also be a snap to install, by simply plugging them into a laptop’s ExpressCard slot. Each card is Windows 7 compatible with no special drivers required.
Startech’s USB 3.0 ExpressCard has already launched with a price of $49.99 which includes a lifetime warranty. It is currently on sale and shipping.
The price of Transcend’s USB 3.0 ExpressCard adapter has not yet been announced, but the company has verified that it will come with a two-year warranty. I would expect pricing to be competitive with that of Startech’s model, considering the similarities in feature sets.