3.5 star rating

Buffalo MiniStation Stealth USB 3.0 1TB Review

$125.00
Pros: Fastest file transfers yet; Easy to back up files; Included encryption and Turbo Copy app; Blue activity light is easy to see
Cons: Not the sleekest design; Setup program requires frequent restarts; Backup app looks a bit dated
The Verdict: The Buffalo MiniStation Stealth USB 3.0 is a portable storage drive that offers blazing transfer speeds and compelling software.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

The Buffalo MiniStation Stealth USB 3.0 drive gives you a lot for $125. It comes with numerous apps, including 128-bit software encryption, a good backup app, and extra utilities for boosting transfer speed. Add all of this up and you've got an excellent portable USB 3.0 drive.

Article Continued Below

Design

The Buffalo MiniStation Stealth is about the same size as the Western Digital My Passport Essential and the LaCie Rikki, but it's about a half ounce heavier, at 7.8 ounces. Still, the MiniStation Stealth is much lighter than the 9.9-ounce Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex and the 14.4-ounce Iomega eGo. The no-frills Buffalo drive comes in all black, and the plastic enclosure feels slightly cheap, especially compared to the aluminum LaCie Rikiki drive.

Setup

Setting up the MiniStation's software was fast and easy. The Buffalo Backup Utility uses a tree structure that makes it easy to choose files for backups. However, the design of the app looks dated, like a vintage Windows program. You can create scheduled backups, though, and it also shows a helpful thumbnail of your desktop at the time of the backup. You can't select specific folders to back up on your laptop, but you can exclude the ones you don't want.

Each of the Buffalo utilities--Backup, Secure Lock Mobile, and TurboPC--is a separate program, so installing them takes extra time. We had to restart a few times. Unlike the software included with the LaCie and WD drives, Buffalo's backup app only works with Buffalo's own drives.

Performance

During disk transfers, the Buffalo MiniStation Stealth emits a bright blue light that you can see across a room--not very stealthy. The transfers were particularly speedy, mostly due to the Turbo Copy app included with the drive. The transfer time for a 5G folder of media files and documents was only 1 minute 20 seconds (64 MBps), the fastest of the drives we tested. The next closest were the Iomega eGo and the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex, which took 1:26 (a rate of 59.5 MBps).

When it came to reading that same folder off the drive, the Buffalo drive fell to the lower middle of the pack, taking 1 minute and 55 seconds, a rate of 44.5 MBps. That's nowhere near the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex (71.1 MBps), but it's much better than the LaCie Rikiki's 36.6 MBps transfer rate.

Verdict

We prefer the well-designed apps included with the Western Digital drive, and both the LaCie and Iomega drives felt better constructed. However, the $125 Buffalo MiniStation Stealth gets good marks due to its generally fast speed and intuitive backup app.

Tags: Buffalo MiniStation Stealth USB 3.0 1TB, reviews

Technical Specifications
Buffalo MiniStation Stealth USB 3.0 1TB
http://www.buffalotech.com


Capacity1TB
Rotational Speed
Seek Time
Read/Write Speed
PortsUSB; USB 3.0
Storage TypeUSB Hard Drive
Size3.0 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches
Weight7.8 ounces
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE