USB3 is a technology that was hyped up quite a bit in 2010, and it was said many times in many different places that wide availability of USB3 would be available in 2011.

I decided to do a quick search for ‘USB3’ on NewEgg, sorted by most-to-least expensive (otherwise all I would see is cables) to see what’s out there. Here’s some of the better stuff I found:

3tb   iomega 3TB external hard drive

With USB 3.0 brings better accessibility to (presently) extra-large external storage. It’s more accessible because of the faster transfer rate of the USB 3.0 spec. Not cheap, but big on storage.

datatraveler   Kingston Data Traveler Ultimate 3.0 64GB

Again, this is external storage and has everything to do with the speed advantage of USB 3.0 over 2.0. And again, not cheap. If you don’t like Kingston, Patriot has one as well of the same storage size and it’s the same price.

star   StarTech USB 3.0 to SATA Docking Station 

Surprisingly affordable (and has good reviews to boot), this docking station supports both 2.5 and 3.5-inch hard drives (HDD or SSD) in a relatively small and tidy package. It’s also literally light on its feet as it weighs under 3 pounds unloaded. It accepts 4 drives and has dual 60mm variable speed fans to keep things cool.

What I haven’t seen (yet)

You’ll notice that all three examples are about storage to take advantage of USB 3’s transfer speed; I’ve seen nothing that takes advantage of 3’s power output. USB 3.0 has significantly more deliverable power compared to 2.0, but I haven’t seen anything truly usable just yet that takes full advantage of it.

A simple (and somewhat ridiculous) example of what USB can power is the USB Heated Blanket. Yes, it’s a real electric blanket powered by 2 USB ports. Chances are were it USB 3-designed it would only require a single port instead of two.

An example of a really good use of USB 3.0-powered would be a USB-powered router. There have been home brew hack ways of doing this, but nothing officially for sale. It should be, especially considering USB 3.0 could handle it easily. Remember, wireless routers use next to nothing for power. A Linksys WRT54G for example at most uses 3 watts.

Would you trade a bulky "wall wart" AC adapter for slim-and-trim USB cable? I know I would.