updated 09:50 am EST, Thu January 14, 2010
HP Envy 15 gets USB 3.0 in certain configs
HP today claimed a pioneering role in the PC business as one of the first to ship a computer with native USB 3.0 ports. Certain trim levels of the Envy 15 quad-core notebook will carry the technology and support much faster transfers of up to 5Gbps. USB 3.0 is already being used for hard drives from LaCie and Western Digital and should be particularly useful for SSDs that are often bottlenecked by USB 2.0.
Alongside the added speed, USB 3.0 also delivers more power over the bus and should both reduce the need for AC adapters as well as let some devices charge much faster than they could before. Any price changes that come with the faster USB haven't been mentioned, though the controller hardware is still rare so far and may cost a premium. HP is expected to provide similar treatment for its EliteBook line within the next two weeks.
Adoption of USB 3.0 is expected to be slow among most PC builders as Intel doesn't yet have a USB 3.0-native chipset of its own, leaving most companies to use custom controllers from NEC and others to deliver the extra speed. [via PCWorld]