When it comes to file transfer, it’s all about
. Then again, speed means nothing if you don’t have the right connectors on your computer. SATA has become fairly commonplace for hard drives, replacing stalwart standard IDE. One of the great benefits of SATA is that it’s hot-pluggable, meaning you can plug and unplug internal drives like FireWire/USB drives. There’s even an external SATA standard (eSATA) plug that lets you use SATA drives as external drives. Great, but it’s not a plug that you’ll see on most machines.
To tide you over until eSATA ports become more widespread, here’s a interesting solution: a
USB to SATA adapter. Plug the little dongle into your USB port, and jack a SATA drive into the other side, and
, you’re set. The major problem is that USB’s throughput goes to 480Mb/s whereas SATA’s max speed is 2.4Gb/s, so you won’t see full SATA speeds. Still, if you’ve got a SATA drive you want to attach to a laptop that doesn’t have SATA or an ExpressCard port—say, a MacBook—this might be a good solution.