USB 3.0 on laptops put to the test

March 19th, 2010 in .Blogs .Video
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ASUS N82 laptopWhen a package arrived from ASUS unannounced and unexpected last week, my heart skipped a beat. Tearing open the box in a gibbering frenzy, I was greeted by one of ASUS’ latest laptops — the N82.

One of the key features of the N82 — and indeed other models in the N line-up — is USB 3.0 connectivity. The N82′s support for USB 3.0 is hard to miss, given the little patch of telltale blue that peeks out at you from the side of the laptop, clamouring for attention.

I responded to its siren call, and pulled out all the stops to obtain a USB 3.0 hard disk drive so that I could put it through its paces.

Here’s what happened next.

Apart from the Blu-ray movie transfer test, I also transferred two other sets of files:

  • Three hundred 4288 x 2848 JPEG photos, weighing a total of 1GB
  • Ninety MP3 tracks encoded at 192kpbs, coming in at 524MB in total

The results were similarly impressive:

  USB 3.0 USB 2.0
Blu-ray movie (30.6GB) 5 mins 37 secs 17 mins 57 secs
300 JPEG photos (1GB) 15 secs 42 secs
90 MP3 tracks (524MB) 8 secs 20 secs

The difference in transfer speeds between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 was simply quite staggering, enough to convince me that purchasing a new laptop just for USB 3.0 support was a worthy enough reason in itself.

So if you’re a multimedia aficionado, or dabble heavily in storage-intensive activities such as video production, a USB 3.0-equipped laptop like the N82 is an absolute must-have.

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  • greg

    I want this laptop so bad, any idea on when it’ll hit US retailers?

  • Moebius

    @Greg: Apologies for the delayed reply. I was recalled to the military for a couple of weeks. I’ve checked with my contact from ASUS, and a firm launch date hasn’t been set for this laptop yet. I’ll keep you posted.

  • John

    Would it also be possible to do a test using esata just so we can compare the three. Both how fast it is and how usable it is in practice, so as to pick which is preferable, esata or usb3 and why.

  • Sid Ghodke

    What kind of external drive are you testing with? Could we see a hdd to flash/flash to flash transfer?