USB has certainly been around for a while. Beginning in 1996 with version 1.0 and just 12Mb/s bandwidth, the USB or Universal Serial Bus interface quickly caught on as a popular way to connect external devices to a host computer. It took only four years to ratify a newer, faster USB 2.0 specification that increased bandwidth forty times to 480Mb/s, and that standard has existed basically untouched for the last decade. Beginning in January of this year, many debuting at the 2010 CES show, manufacturers began releasing products that support the latest iteration of the USB interface, version 3.0. Although it took twice as long to develop as 2.0, the 3.0 specification only increases bandwidth an additional ten times, to 4800Mb/s or what is commonly referred to as 5Gb/s speed.
Kingwin has added three USB 3.0 devices to its product roster this year, two SATA enclosures (one 2½" and one 3½") and the DockMaster SATA HDD dock we have for review today. The DM-2535U3 is a single bay drive dock that accepts either 2½" or 3½" SATA drives. It features USB 3.0 connectivity for bandwidth up to 5Gb/s and plug and play capability. Facing competition from an overabundance of USB 2.0 drive enclosures and the already super fast eSATA interface, can USB 3.0 really surpass the popularity and speed of existing devices? Join me as I aim to find out!