Ok, here’s a bit of research I did to match up with my new Retina MBP sporting 2 Thunderbolt ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports. This data is probably only valid within a few months of September 2012.
Portable Hard Drives
Essentially which way do I go with a new portable hard drive?
- Thunderbolt-only? Not likely since I won’t be able to use it on an older Mac or PC.
- Thunderbolt + USB 3.0? Seems like the best choice. It’s future-looking with both Macs (new ones as well as last year’s) and current PCs (with USB 3.0 ports).
- USB 3.0-only? It is future-looking, but is limited to only new Macs whereas last year’s Macs (of which I have three) lack USB 3.0 ports.
- Thunderbolt + FireWire 800? Maybe. It’s future-looking for Macs, backwards compatible with Macs, but not future-looking with PCs (that have USB 3.0 ports). The question is am I willing to live with slower transfer speeds on older Macs (USB 2.0 with one of the other solutions instead of FW800)? Probably.
Ok then, what are some options?
- Buffalo Technology MiniStation: Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 (Product Description, Review 1 and Review 2)
- GDrive Mobile: USB 3.0 and FireWire 800
- G-Drive Mobile: USB 3.0-only
- LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series: Thunderbolt-only (Product Description)
- LaCie Rikiki Superspeed USB 3.0: USB 3.0-only (Product Description)
USB 3.0 Flash Drives
Also seems like I should get a USB 3.0 Flash Drive so I can take advantage of higher speeds. I looked at a Squidoo article to help narrow down a likely candidate.
I think I’m going to end up with one of these two:
- Lexar JumpDrive Triton 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive: Faster but more expensive (~$70 vs. $28)
- Transcend JetFlash 760 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
I converted all the Squidoo data into a Google doc to try and balance speed, cost and capacity.