The Kingwin EZ-Connect Superspeed USB 3.0 (USI-2535U3) adapter fits in a niche for computer users that want to quickly and easily connect an external hard drive to their computer without having to go through the hassle of a full external drive case. Personally, I love products like this because I don’t leave my external drives plugged in and running for long when I do use them. Since this utilizes USB3, instead of USB2, your transfer times should be drastically reduced, making it great for larger drives (i.e. 1 TB and up).
Features and Specifications
Included in the box
- SATA to USB 3.0 adapter
- External power adapter
- USB 3.0 cable
Feature-wise, the adapter can hotplug both 3.5″ and 2.5″ SATA drives for up to 5 Gbps transfer speeds. Coupling that with its small weight (1.5 lbs. total) and size (2.125″ x 2.5″ x 0.5″) makes a very useful little tool. The exterior includes an LED to show power and drive use. The whole case is plastic with no sharp edges and the brushed-aluminum sticker on the top gives an appealing look.
Using the adapter couldn’t be any simpler. It is literally plug and play: plug in the power, plugin in the usb cable, then plug in the drive – done. Pretty much any operating system can be used, too: all the usual Windows versions (98se, XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS X 10.0 and up, and Linux 2.6.31 or newer.
I tested the same Seagate 7200.11 1.5 TB drive using three different connectors: standard SATA II, USB 2.0, and the Kingwin USB 3.0 adapter. HDTach and HDTune were run each time to get a full overview of drive performance. It’s interesting that USB 3.0 is very close to SATA II speeds, but still just shy in most speed categories. They are just about interchangeable. I think the real story here, though, is how much better USB 3.0 is than its predecessor, USB 2.0. So, it completely makes sense to take advantage of USB 3.0 if your motherboard supports it. Likewise, if you are in the market for a new motherboard then it makes sense to look for one that does have USB 3.0 support.
Editor’s Note, 1/28/11: Updated the USB 3.0 HDTach Long test to be the correct one on the Seagate 7200.11 and improved the remarks above to match.
The Kingwin EZ-Connect USB 3.0 adapter is everything it promises to be: easy to use, lightweight, compact, and powerful. The only down side is that at $29.99 there isn’t any price advantage versus buying a dock or full enclosure. Even though native SATA had a slight performance edge over it, USB 3.0 will continue to grow in popularity so an adapter like this will become more useful as USB 2.0 is phased out. If you are in the shopping for a USB 3.0 adpater, you can feel comfortable keeping this Kingwin adapter on your list.