|USB3 Pro MacBook||USB3 Air MacBook||USB3 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.
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.
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.
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 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.