Review Iomega USB 3.0 ExpressCard /34

By: Tobias Winkler 06/26/2010

USB 3.0 for (almost) everyone!

Notebooks with an ExpressCard expansion slot can have a multitude of additional features integrated later on.  How well this works with the USB 3.0 adaptor from Iomega will be revealed in our review

Items delivered: driver CD, adaptor cable and ExpressCard/34 with 2x USB 3.0
Items delivered: driver CD, adaptor cable and ExpressCard/34 with 2x USB 3.0
The transfer rates clearly beat the FW800 and eSata ExpressCards we reviewed.
The transfer rates clearly beat the FW800 and eSata ExpressCards we reviewed.
The curve only begins to fall very late. The interface limits the data transfer here.
The curve only begins to fall very late.  The interface limits the data transfer here.

With a street price currently at around 33.- Euros plus shipping and handling, the model from Iomega positions itself somewhere in the middle of the field of competitors.  The ExpressCard /34 has two USB 3.0 interfaces arranged next to one another.  Basically, both ports should be capable of delivering the maximum allowed 900mA as per USB 3.0 specification.  Those needing even more currently find an additional power supply outlet which can draw further performance from a USB 2.0 port.  We already reviewed ExpressCards with eSata and Firewire 800 interfaces.

Simply plugging it in and starting it up doesn't work.  After a few seconds, the automatic recognition and driver installation is interrupted unsuccessfully by Windows 7 Professional 64bit.  The included driver CD helps here and delivers the necessary NEC USB 3.0 driver of the version 1.0.18.0.  The installation runs without a hitch and the ExpressCard is usable right away without any restarting.

We tested an external 3.5" Buffalo USB 3.0 HD-HX1 1TB and an Iomega eGO Desktop USB 3.0 2TB.  Both harddrives are recognized and can be put into operation right away.  The transfer rates we got were around a maximum of 1.06.4 MB/s and thus on the level of the built-in USB 3.0 interfaces we have already reviewed  (see HP 8540w).  Though the actual performance capabilities of 144 MB/s which we got on the Buffalo can not be used, they are still very good values for an ExpressCard expansion module.  For comparison, refer to our comprehensive Hard drive benchmark list.

Verdict

The Iomega ExpressCard/34 USB 3.0 expansion bestows notebooks from the entry- and mid level without eSata or USB 3.0 with a very high-performing interface which in many cases can take over the power supply.  The price is acceptable by comparison, the features and use fast and easy.

In Review: Iomega ExpressCard/34 Adapter
In Review: Iomega ExpressCard/34 Adapter
relatively thin ExpressCard/34 extension...
relatively thin ExpressCard/34 extension...
...which still protrudes quite a bit
...which still protrudes quite a bit
The performance data with over 106 MB/s is very impressive
The performance data with over 106 MB/s is very impressive
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Iomega USB 3.0 ExpressCard /34
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2010-07- 6 (Update: 2012-05-26)