At $180, the DriveStation is an affordable way to get a terabyte of SuperSpeed external storage: some USB 2 models sell for similar prices, and although the per gigabyte cost of 19.3 cents isn’t as economical as a 2TB drive, it’s still easy to swallow. You can pay twice as much for some portable drives.
What you get, though, is very much a no-frills affair. The case is distinctly bulkier than its rivals, which is unnecessary as it contains only a regular 3.5in drive. Despite its size, it bears no user controls at all, and the glossy finish suggests a cheap design pretending to be expensive.
Like the Seagate and Western Digital desktop drives, the DriveStation stands upright, so there’s a chance you might knock it over; but Buffalo has thoughtfully provided lock holes in both the side and the base, so you can still keep it secure if you lie it down.
The supporting utilities aren’t as generous as those of other Buffalo drives. You don’t get a RAM drive tool, but you do still get Buffalo’s TurboUSB tool, which as usual didn’t affect performance at all in our tests.
Happily, even without turbo-charging, performance is very good. The DriveStation was the equal-fastest drive at writing our large files, and comfortably above average at reading them back. Small-file write speeds were good too, although here the drive’s read speeds were a little below average, causing it to fall back into seventh place.
Overall, while the DriveStation isn’t exactly a thing of beauty, it delivers high-speed storage for a reasonable price.