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Computer Accessories

Home, home on the range: Buffalo SATA DriveStation

Home, home on the range, where the deer and the mass storage device play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day

Staring at an external hard disk may be enough to drive you to politics, but hold off on sociocultural suicide for just one moment -- this is one mass storage device that might float your coat. It's a 400GB USB drive with independent power supply and fanless operation.

The Buffalo DriveStation uses a 7200rpm SATA drive mechanism. This theoretically makes it fast enough for HD editing, but we suspect there may be a bottleneck because of the maximum practical transfer rates of USB. Further tests will confirm or disprove this wild assumption.

We're impressed that the DriveStation arrived pre-formatted -- it worked straight away on our ludicrously powerful desktop Mac. Multiple DriveStations can be stacked to save space on the desk, but a single unit prefers to stand vertically on four little rubber feet.

Disappointingly, our review unit wouldn't lie flat on its side without some discernible wobble. You could fold a bit of paper and stick it under one corner for stabilisation, but this is the 21st century Buffalo! Get with the era. Aside from this small niggle, the DriveStation's cathedral-like interior should keep us in BitTorrented movies for months (all legal of course; movies we shot and edited ourselves and hold full copyright to. Ahem). -CS