USB3 Peripherals and Gadgets For Apple Computers

The Newest Models Of MacBooks With USB 3.0 Ports

Apple Laptop Computers With USB 3.0Pondering an upgrade to replace your current aging PC or Mac laptop? The latest USB 3.0 MacBook models offer more speed, features and elegance than ever. All of them include backward compatible SuperSpeed USB3 interfaces to take advantage of the latest USB peripherals - while maintaining compatibility with your legacy Universal Serial Bus computing accessories.

USB3 Pro MacBookUSB3 Air MacBookUSB3 Retina MacBook
USB 3 MacBook Pro 13"

Dual USB3 Speed Ports
USB 3 MacBook Air

$939 11.6" Display
USB 3 Retina 15" MacBook

Dual ThunderBolt 2 Ports

It should be noted that now that Apple has rolled-out USB 3.0 interfaces across it's desktop and laptop product lines, other advances and tech innovations make them even more compelling products. Higher-resolution Retina displays are being incorporated into more MacBook models. We've also seen the first Mac Pro Cylinder and higher-end MacBook Pro's get an upgrade to 2nd-generation 20G ThunderBolt 2 ports as well. Lastly, internal storage on the latest Mac systems is undergoing a significant shift from SATA III interfaces to PCIe SSD modules in MacBook Pro and Air that offer a HUGE performance leap in data Read/Write speeds.

Macs With USB 3.0

Undoubtedly the introduction of USB 3.0 ports on Apple MacBook laptop computers is a crucial step to the future of SuperSpeed peripherals for Macintosh. Delivering up to 10 times available performance bandwidth over slower USB 2.0, USB 3.0 promises to provide far better performance for a broad variety of computer system peripherals. It's backward compatibility with existing USB 2.0 accessories makes certain it will likely be a relatively smooth turning point to the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard.

Apple Inc. is presently incorporating USB 3.0 interface laptops on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as well as the latest MacBooks with Retina Display systems. Just before the end of 2012, Apple modified it's iMac and Mac mini desktop computers to incorporate USB 3.0 ports as well. Apple has also given a sneak-peak that the redesigned Mac Pro tower will receive a critical revision which will include both 2nd-generation ThunderBolt 2 20Gbps interfaces and 6 USB 3.0 ports.

Aside from USB 3.0 cables, cards, and USB device sharing hubs, the USB disk drive market for transportable and desktop computer backup drives has already engaged in the shift to USB 3.0 interface. A broad variety of SuperSpeed back-up solutions are presently available for purchase, and that includes USB 3.0 flash card readers and remarkably fast US3 thumb drives.

A wider range of other kinds of USB 3.0 enabled Mac personal computer add-ons have yet to reach the market. Nonetheless, we can anticipate additional items such as USB 3.0 printers and scanners, USB 3.0 TV tuners, webcams, and SuperSpeed audio and digital video recording equipment to reach the marketplace in the months ahead that will benefit both Macintosh and Microsoft Windows customers as USB 3.0 implementation explodes across the computing landscape.

MacBooks With USB 3.0 - Finally!

Well, finally -- Apple has started immediate shipment of the latest MacBook USB 3.0 enabled laptops after it's announcement at WWDC 2012. All models feature DUAL USB 3.0 ports - one on each side of the MacBook. Also of note is the lowest price on a USB 3.0 Mac is now the 11" MacBook Air which got a CPU speed bump, better graphics, more RAM memory, AND USB3 at a base price that's now $100 cheaper at only $999.

Of course these MacBooks have ThunderBolt as well as SuperSpeed USB 3.0 so your options for much faster hard drive backups or other high-speed peripherals has grown appreciably. Expect Apple to continue to roll out USB 3.0 on Mac models such as the iMac, Mac mini and Macintosh Pro in the months ahead.

Mac USB3 vs ThunderBolt : Now vs Later

MacBook Pro Thunder-Bolt Port The history of Apple computer peripheral interfaces is long and varied. And the reason for all these different device interfaces over the years is simple: They provided the right technology for the right job - at the time.

It may make good headlines to say "Apple and Intel Declare War On The USB Standard With ThunderBolt!" but the reality is this isn't a war, interfaces coexist and compliment each other, and much like FireWire that preceeded ThunderBolt -- USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 SuperSpeed will dominate the marketplace - in spite of some of the technical advantages and benefits that ThunderBolt provides.

Its best to think of ThunderBolt benefitting specific highly data-intensive devices and computing needs -- and USB3 delivering more affordable, more than 'good enough' backward compatible high-speed benefits to the rest of the computing masses. Both have a promising future for both the Mac and Windows PC platforms. (Especially when USB3 to ThunderBolt adapters become available and deliver the best of BOTH worlds.)

Many computer gadgets and gizmos DON'T EVEN NEED - OR CAN EVEN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF - THE BANDWIDTH of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed - let alone ThunderBolt's 10Gbps pipeline. Given that so many technologies like a single hard drive or SSD can't even max out either's pipeline, there's plenty of elbow-room on either of these busses for a vastly improved user experience. And ultimately, that matters more than tech specs.

CalDigit SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive For Mac and PC

Besides LaCie, the only other company offering SuperSpeed USB drives, OSX USB3 drivers and cards for select MacBook Pro (ExpressCard) and Macintosh Pro tower (PCI-e card) configurations to deliver a high speed backup solution today is CalDigit.

CalDigit AV 1TB Drive

USB3 and FireWire 800 Ports

For even greater storage capacity, a larger version - the CalDigit 2TB AV Drive External Hard Drive - USB 3.0, FireWire 800, for Mac & Windows is also available.

CalDigit SuperSpeed PCI Express Card with USB 3.0 Drivers for Mac Pro

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't list the CalDigit USB3 ExpressCard for MacBook Pro these drives need to be paired with - at this time. You may wish to buy direct from CalDigit at their website.

Note: Somewhat like LaCie, CalDigit keys their SuperSpeed drivers for Mac OSX Leopard to look for their specific CARD. But those drivers are reported to work on a wider range of 3rd party external USB3 drives. More drive options, fewer card options.

Conversely, LaCie's OSX driver actually works with a wider number of NEC-chipset based PCI and ExpressCards - however LaCie's driver is keyed to ONLY work with LaCie brand drives at this time. More card options, fewer drive options.

Confusing, huh? But that's life on the bleeding edge of SuperSpeed technology on the Mac platform. Pair vendors card and drive products for the most workable SuperSpeed on a Mac solution.