Google's Nexus One Android smartphone got a lot of attention last week at CES. 3D television got a lot of attention. A wide of array of eReaders; uh huh, lots of attention. Touch tablets; ditto! What didn't get much attention that should have? USB 3.0; a long overdue upgrade to USB 2.0 that we've all been using since the year 2000.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been the industry standard for transferring data from one source to another since the mid-90's. As mentioned, 2.0 came along in 2000. Is it me or has computing changed a lot over the last ten years - especially in terms of how and how much data we are constantly transferring between devices. I'm thinking about digital cameras,mp3 players and thumb drives, especially.
HP is one of the first PC makers to introduce a new line of laptops that include USB 3.0. Don't worry, the others will fall in line quickly enough.
USB 3.0 is worth keeping an eye out for on your next purchase.
It's much, much faster than 2.0. Let's put it this way. Two gigs of data takes about two minutes to transfer from a thumb drive to a hard drive with 2.0. That's the average flash drive completely full of pictures from your Bermuda trip or PowerPoints for your next sales call.
USB 3.0 does it in literally half the time at one minute.
What's also good to know about 3.0:
- It's backward compatible, in case you are worried about that.
- It's much more energy efficient. It works twice as hard on about 30% less juice.
Keep an eye out for it.
Last updated: Jan 11, 2010
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio