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Apple was slow to adopt USB 3, but now that it’s here, Verbatim’s Store ’n’ Go USB 3.0/FireWire 800 for Mac lets you harness the faster USB 3 transfers, while also packing FireWire 800 and backward compatibility for USB 2.
Both FireWire 800 and USB 3 cables are included, and if your Mac doesn’t have USB 3--only the just released MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Retina MacBook Pro (see p22) have it--you can connect the USB 3 cable to a USB 2 port. Verbatim includes a power cable that connects to a USB port, in case the port you’re using for transfer doesn’t supply enough power, but we never needed it. At 5x3.1x0.7 inches and just 6.4 ounces, it’s plenty portable.
We tested it using a USB 3 port on the Retina MacBook Pro, and got speeds of 77.4MBps read and 76MBps write. Then we switched to a mid-2010 MacBook Pro, clocking 69.2MBps read and 54.8MBps write over FireWire 800, and 34.6MBps read and 27MBps write over USB 2.
Transferring a 1.2GB MP4 file to the Store ’n’ Go took just 15.5 seconds over USB 3, 20.8 seconds using FireWire 800, and a relatively poky 41.3 seconds using USB 2. USB 3 is so zippy that I was able to watch the MP4 video, running off of the Verbatim drive, after waiting just 6 seconds for QuickTime to buffer--it played smoothly with no stuttering.
The bottom line. It works great, but $174 is a little high. You can get a 500GB USB 3.0/2.0 drive (without FireWire) from OWC for $109 (www.macsales.com). Still, FireWire is a valuable bonus if your Mac has it.
USB 3.0. FireWire 800, or USB 2.0 port
Bus powered. Backward compatible to USB 2.0. Comes with all the cables. Preformatted for Mac. Speedy.
A little more expensive and less rugged than OWC's Mercury On-The-Go USB 3.0/2.0 drives.