Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

The Good The bus-powered and affordable Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 drive offers fast performance via both Thunderbolt and USB and includes both a USB and a Thunderbolt cable.

The Bad The Buffalo MiniStation comes with just one Thunderbolt port.

The Bottom Line Versatile, good-looking, and fast enough for most applications, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 makes an excellent buy for those looking for a portable Thunderbolt storage device.

Editors' Rating
  • Setup 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Support 8.0
8.2 Overall

Compare

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt (1TB)
Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt
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WD My Passport (Fall 2016, 4TB, Yellow)
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WD Elements Portable (1TB)
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Price $150 Amazon.com $209 Amazon.com $130 Dell Home $120 Dell Home $68 Amazon.com
Setup
9
8
9
8
9
Features
8
9
7
8
6
Performance
8
9
9
8
8
Support
8
9
6
...
5

Review

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

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). 

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $230
  • Brand Buffalo Technology
  • Capacity 1 TB
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
See full specs
model 1TB

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