Although the raw speed of USB 3.0 is nominally ten times that of USB 2.0 (4.8Gbps vs 480Mbps), the actual throughput of Seagate's portable drive using the new interface is three times that of USB 2.0.
Not as impressive a number as ten times, but nevertheless a welcome improvement. Seagate officials point out that it means a 25GB HD movie can be transferred in four minutes, compared with 14 minutes using USB 2.0.
Sustained data transfer rates of 100MBps are said to be possible.
"The growing presence of large multimedia files in the home means that connectivity and speed is a top concern for a satisfactory experience," said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president, sales, marketing and product line management.
"The delivery of USB 3.0 further underscores our commitment to giving people an efficient way to store, access and share their digital creations," he added.
Since a USB 3.0 drive is of little benefit if the computer it's used with only has USB 2.0 ports (it works, but there's no speed improvement), Seagate is bundling the drive with a USB ExpressCard adaptor.
The package also includes Acronis backup software and SafetyDrill+ for bare metal recovery for Windows XP. Vista or 7.
Updated: The BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 Performance kit costs $US179.99. Australian pricing and availability has yet to be announced.