The Buffalo MiniStation Lite lives up to its name: it’s one of the smallest drives out there, and its inky black exterior and gentle curves lower its profile further. It’s very light, too: it’s a cliché, but you really can tuck it into a pocket and forget it’s there.
That’s not to say it’s a drive that hides away. The Buffalo logo lights up when the drive’s powered on, giving the drive a cool, futuristic look, and a blue access light glows in the opposite corner.
There’s nothing else to speak of in the way of controls or accessories – it’s a minimalistic package – but you do get some interesting software in the bundle. Besides the obligatory basic backup package, there’s also a disk caching tool that promises to speed up transfers, and a RAM drive client – potentially useful, especially now machines with 4GB and more are becoming commonplace.
To pack 640GB into such a small drive, we deduce that Buffalo has used a hard disk with a high areal density, which generally means fast transfers.
And so it proved in our tests. With a sustained transfer rate over USB 3 of 84MB/sec writing and 87MB/sec reading, this is one of the fastest portable drives we’ve seen.
Sadly, the price isn’t terrifically economical, and is more expensive than most portable USB 3 drives, and, predictably, twice what you’ll pay for some desktop models.
All the same, the diminutive style of the MiniStation Lite, coupled with strong performance, goes some way to mitigating the price.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk