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I recently purchased the Buffalo Mini Station 500Gb External Hard Drive and decided to write a review. I was surprised at how compact it was, but it didn't detract from the performance at all. It is extremely easy to use, but the first issue I had was that the USB cable is really small in length, so you need to make sure you have a surface close by (if using a desktop pc).
You just plug the cable into a USB port and a window automatically opens up and you simply just drag and drop the data you want to store. Whilst I haven't yet transferred any really large files, I found that the transfer rate is quite good, no hanging around for hours waiting for the transfer to be completed. I cannot really fault this piece of kit, it does what it says on the tin, compact and easy to carry around, sleek design and easy to use.
I've had this product for about a month so it's about time it received a review. I bought the ministration to back up the music on my laptop in case it gets stolen or breaks. The capacity of 500GB is big enough for me to store all my music and all the music I am likely to get in the foreseeable future.
The ministration is easy to use. It comes in a small box and all you need to do is plug it in and copy/paste the files that you want. The files are then accessible from any other computer instantly if you want. One bad side to this simplicity is that it doesn't automatically update whenever you get new content. This means I have to periodically update with any new things I get.
It is really small and sleek. It is about the size of an average mobile phone so is really small and easy to store and transport. It is a nice gloss black with a blue led on it that flashes when it is in use. It is also really quiet with only a very faint whirring when data is being transferred.
It is powered by USB. This is one of the main reasons why I bought this product. I don't have many power sockets at home so being able to power this device via USB was vital. This would also be very important if you needed to use the device on the train where there is only one socket.
(Finally, as an added bonus, this product came with a free trial of emusic. It is a free trial that lasts for 30 days or £15 of music. Once you've gone over that it'll charge you per month. I just used the trial, downloaded my £15 worth and cancelled the subscription.)
All in all, this is a great, high quality, device that I am very pleased with. It does what I want and I would recommend it highly.
@ About, Data & Storage @
I paid £60 for this hard drive and it was money well spent. The hard drive claims to be 500GB but again like many hard drives i have owned it has considerably less. I actually has 465GB of data when you first plug it in. Some space is missing because of the files which come with it. You get a PDF copy of the users manual and a formatting guide which can really help for those trying to reformat their drive, and there are some other random files on the drive. All of these can be deleted so if you need the extra couple of MB then you can get rid of them.
I am currently storing about 180GB on the hard drive totalling about 10000 files in 76 folders and not a single file has corrupted, gone wrong or deleted itself from the hard drive. It stores data in the place you put it and if you decide to move it you wont get chunks of fragmented files all over the disk. Occasionally you need a defrag clean up but thats it.
Saving a 3 minute wav file to the hard disk takes less than 2 seconds and transferring about 10GB worth of MP3 files takes no more than 11 minutes over a standard USB 2.0 connection on your computer. The files transfer with the same name and end up in the same place without going missing, and transferring as corrupt files. Where data is concerned this is a great hard drive.
@ Build Quality, Portability @
You can get bags and cases for these things to protect the outer casing but it seems tough enough as it is. Most western digital hard drives seem to break down very quickly when you drop them but with this one i had knocked it off a shelf, dropped it and jiggled it about in a backpack all day long and it still works. On the front there is a blue knight rider style LED on the front and this will stay on even when the PC is off. If there is power going through the PC the LED will stay on, so you need to disconnect it.
The outer casing is solid plastic but piano black so the smooth top will get lots of fingerprints and look ugly so cleaning is crucial. The bottom is also made from solid plastic but is not smooth. The cable can disconnect at both ends for added portability.
@ Overall @
This is a well build hard drive and its ten times better than previous western digital hard drives i have owned. Its a highly recommended drive.