The unit houses a high-performing 7,200-rpm SATA drive, which is truly plug-and-play and also is preformatted for immediate use. Users need only to take the unit out of the box, plug it into any USB 2.0 or 1.1 port on any desktop or notebook, provide power and the unit is up and running. Buffalo includes Auto Setup technology, which allows for a smoother installation without the need to install any additional drivers. CRN Test Center engineers had the device set up in minutes.
The unit is rather small, measuring 1.77 inches x 6.41 inches x 7.86 inches. Its form factor makes it easy to transport from station to station.
One gripe about the drive (and most USB external drives for that matter) is that Buffalo includes only one USB port connector. Sharing USB drives between computers can be an inconvenience and accomplished by plugging it into the actual PC the user is currently working on. Another option would be to share a USB hub between the two computers. Therefore, it would be worthwhile for Buffalo to include multiple ports so users can share files across multiple PCs.
One thing that stood out was the lack of noise. For comparison purposes, CRN engineers have an external hard disk drive in-house and unless that unit rests on something with weight and shock absorption, it continuously and noisily hums. With the DriveStation, whether it was placed horizontally or vertically, the fanless heat sink design ran cool and quiet. Engineers left the unit on for three consecutive days and it never released too much heat to the point where it was problematic.
Finally, the external HDD includes Buffalo’s free downloadable Secure Lock Ware utility that offers security options for encrypting and protecting confidential data.