Which USB 3.0 Hard Drive is Fastest?

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USB 3.0 promises twice the speed of the current USB 2.0 standard. And now that these new ports are starting to show up on notebooks, storage makers have begun producing external drives that take advantage of these blazing transfer rates. But before shelling out any money to upgrade your storage solution, we’ve put four of the newest models through the wringer to find out which one offers the fastest speeds, best utilities, and stylish looks. In order to measure their performance, we connected each drive to a Lenovo W710 workstation, then ran read and write speed tests with a 4.97GB folder of multimedia and a 1.66GB MPEG-4 file. Check our slideshow to find out which one is speediest.

Buffalo MiniStation Cobalt USB 3.0

Buffalo’s latest portable drive is small and light, but it’s not as fast as the competition.

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Pros

Sleek and stylish design
Mac and PC compatible
Three-year warranty

Cons

Not the fastest drive
Scratches easily
Mediocre utilities

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0

Not only is this portable hard drive super-fast, it can take its share of abuse, too.

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Pros

Fast transfer speeds
Online storage included
Durable design

Cons

Bulky

Iomega USB 3.0 eGo Portable Hard Drive

This stylish, fast, and sturdy USB 3.0 hard drive has it all.

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Pros

Fast transfer speeds
Attractive design
Rugged
Affordable

Cons

Cloning software only Windows compatible

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Pro

This USB 3.0 hard drive has an innovative and versatile connecting system that makes it future-proof.

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Pros

Innovative connecting system
Stylish design
Desktop stand included with capacity meter
Three-year warranty

Cons

Connectors add to cost
Not the fastest drive

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