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By Hanleigh Daniels 3 March 2011

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USB 3.0 ports aren’t really commonplace as yet, but there are a number of SuperSpeed compatible storage solutions available, including the Iomega eGo 500 GB USB 3.0 portable hard drive and now Kingston’s HyperX MAX 3.0 External USB 3.0 Drive. The latter is a Superman drive offering blistering performance, but one that can easily switch back into its Clark Kent persona to fit in with commonplace USB 2.0 systems. 
 
Faster data transfer
 
Kingston’s drive isn’t a portable hard-drive, but rather a flash-based offering that is SuperSpeed USB certified, meaning it is capable of transfer speeds up to ten times that of USB 2.0 (480 Mbits/s). The company claims a read speed of up to 195 MB/sec, as well as a write speed of up to 160 MB/sec, when the device is paired with a USB 3.0 compatible device. It is also fully compatible with USB 2.0 devices, meaning you can make use of it on your current system, as well as on your future (USB 3.0 compatible PC system).
 
When we tested the drive it did, as expected, prove to be a lot quicker on a USB 3.0 system. A 700 MB movie transfer took a mere 7 seconds on the Asus N43SL’s USB 3.0 port for instance, whilst it took almost three times as long (around 20 seconds) while using the notebook’s USB 2.0 connection. 
 
Design
 
The HyperX MAX 3.0 is a USB-powered drive while also shock resistant, as it utilises Flash components without any moving parts. When we first heard about the device we thought it would be relatively big, but it’s really portable, measuring in at a very manageable 73 x 118 x 12 mm - much smaller than other portable drives we’ve tested. 
 
There are three models to choose from, an entry-level 64 GB model, a 128 GB device (which we tested) and a top of the line 256 GB drive.
 
 
No additional software included
 
As is the case with the Iomega this HyperX drive doesn’t come with any backup- or encryption software solutions, such as Nero BackItUp Essentials or NTI Shadow. Unlike the Iomega though, you don’t get the option of having software (Iomega Protection Suite - to backup and protect your data) available as a free download. 
 
The Kingston drive does offer a lot less storage space, so users probably won’t employ it as a backup drive, but that doesn’t completely rule out the need for software that will protect your sensitive data.
 
Final word
 
You can pick one of these speedy pocket-friendly drives up for the piggy-bank-breaking recommended retail price of R3800 for the 128 GB HyperX MAX External USB 3.0 Drive. The 256 GB model goes for a whopping R8300 and the 64 GB drive goes for R1800. These drives do come with a three-year warranty though and is also backed by Kingston’s 24/7 service and support.
 
Pro
 
Much faster data transfer when paired to USB 3.0 device, a very portable solution.
 
Con
 
Not the cheapest USB 3.0 compatible storage solution available, no on-board backup or encryption solutions.
PROS
Much faster data transfer when paired to USB 3.0 device, a very portable solution.
CONS
Not the cheapest USB 3.0 compatible storage solution available, no on-board backup or encryption solutions.
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