Ive recently found what that darn slot has been in my laptop of 3 years.. Yes a 54mm Expresscard! :\
Anyway after learning that it was possible to retrofit this and gain USB 3 to my 3 year old Acer Aspire 5735 laptop, I thought Id give it a go. When ordering I was confident this would be the product as I have a Hot Swap SATA cradle that I can plug any SATA (laptop or desktop) HDD into and it work. I use them for transfering data, photos (Im a digital SLR and Photoshop user) and backing up. hmm.. The cradle has USB 2 and E-SATA which was a bummer.. But I had a media centre (box) that does have USB 3..
Getting the card to work - I followed one other previous users comments and downloaded the current driver directly fro the manufacturers website as id heard all sorts of stories about the cd ones not working and crashing machines..
This seemed to work well and device manager was now happy all the drivers was current and installed.. Although It didnt work.. Now whether this was my fault/issue but it took a few minutes for it to recognise there was a HDD attached.. After this I havent had an issue with it.. This may have been me not pushing the male USB into the slot enough, as it doesnt "Click" into place.. but for my needs as a laptop that can be moved but it very rarely moved. Its cool. I tried it with a USB 2 lead and got about 22-27mbps which is an improvement over my current 19mbps max ive had. doesnt sound much but when your waiting for 8gigs of data.. it makes a significant difference.
Next USB 3.. So i purchased a cheap 3metre USB 3 lead from the bay and hooked it up to the media centre.. testing it and this isnt with any fancy benchmark program (just standard Windows 7 transfer data) I got an average of 85mbps (it varied from 80-90mbps) and is a fantastic difference for the cost of the item and a £3 lead. All in all.. I should be able to use the media box as a cradle to transfer any data too and from the PC using USB 3. Although the normal hotswap cradle will be used on the desktop (which has E-SATA) more as its already rigged up.
It does fit nice and flush to my casing but did need to be pushed all the way in for the expresscard to "click" into place
Not needed to use the external USB power lead as yet but i'll keep it handy if needs be.. If worst comes to worst, id gained 2 more USB 2 ports but the USB 3 really has make a good speedy improvement. Its just having to buy new leads/priducts that support the feature to get full benefit from the speed.
The card does generate a little more heat in the casing but thats to be expected. I havent tried on battery yet but due to the laptop being 3 years old, the battery is getting rather tired anyway (although does last still over an hour)
All in all very pleased if It continues its reliability!
EDIT 10/2/14: The external power lead needed to be used today but only because i plugged in 2 external HDDs (1 x powered and 1 self powered by its own) Which was kinda undrstandable given. Popped it straight in and the self powered HDD sprung into life.
There were only 2 reviews for this card, one stellar and the other as negative as could be. I won't give it 5 stars mostly because of the fact that I'll have to use pliers to get the card out of my laptop should I ever have to remove it. That's a build quality issue. I never bothered with the CD of drivers that came with it for a couple of reasons, 1) reports of malware coming from Chinese manufacturers worry me, I've had too many Chinese products with infected driver disks; and 2) I don't have a CD drive in my laptop and couldn't be bothered to put one in.
I downloaded the drivers directly from the manufacturers website and had zero issues installing the drivers or getting the card to work. If you buy this card, and I can't see any reason for someone not to, it does exactly as it says on the tin and was giving me 120-130MB/sec transfer rates from a USB3.0 WD Elements drive to one of the internal drives and cost is right. If you do buy one, just download the drivers direct from the manufacturers site: [...] If the link stops working, just go to the website and search for PNU3-EC54, there was only one driver that came up and it worked for me.
Read all the reviews, but couldn't find a better option so went ahead, expecting installation problems. sadly, I wasn't disappointed. After exploring all avenues over several hours, I emailed both the manufacturer and the supplier. Helpful response from supplier Orico attaching 2 more drivers to try. 1st one worked and the socket has been in continuous use with my wireless mouse for several months now without any problems. Would give it 5 stars if not for the driver problems. If you buy and have problems, email Orico - email@example.com
Drivers supplied did not work, Dell laptop unable to locate card. Worse problem with downloaded driver: set off malware warnings and caused win 7 O/S to auto-delete the Orico software. Bought Fresco logic FL1000 card for half the price, win 7 auto loaded the drivers when the card was inserted; supplied CD not needed.