Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt RPM
The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 drive is the second Thunderbolt bus-powered portable drive (one that doesn't require a separate power adapter) on the market, the first being the
Elgato Thunderbolt SSD. But the similarity between the two drives ends there.
The Buffalo is also the first Thunderbolt drive that offers USB 3.0 connectivity and the first that houses a regular platter-based hard drive, as opposed to a solid-state drive. And there's more, it's also the first I've seen that comes included with a Thunderbolt cable. This is a big deal since the cable itself can cost another $50.
Performance-wise, the Buffalo is limited by the speed of its internal hard drive. Still, it's very fast in my testing, enough to justify its $240 price for 1TB (or $200 for the 500GB capacity).
If you're looking for a good-looking portable drive to accompany your Thunderbolt-enabled portable computer, or any portable computer for that matter, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 makes an excellent choice, and the fact that it won't break the bank is just one part of the reason.
|Drive type||External Thunderbolt hard drive|
|Connector options||Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
|Available capacities||500GB, 1TB
|Product dimensions||0.9 x 3.2 x 5.1 inches|
|Capacity of test unit||1TB|
|OSes supported||Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Windows 7 or later
Design and features
The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 looks very nice and is as compact as most portable drives that are based on 2.5-inch internal hard drives. It's slightly larger than the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD but not by much. Measuring 0.9 inch x 3.2 inches x 5.1 inches and weighing just 9.3 ounces, it can be tucked away easily in your backpack.
Housed in a white aluminum case with a glossy plastic top, the drive feels solid and looks expensive, similar to the look and feel of an Apple product. On the bottom there are two large curved rubber feet to keep it on a surface. There's also a label that reads "Made in Japan, " which separates it from the herd of products that are made in China.
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