- Sleek and clever design
- Reduces clutter
- Dual functionality
- Lack of interaction between the devices
- Performance is not up to the mark
- The dock is USB only
One of the major issues with most of the cool portable gadgets on the market today is that, they tend to make a lot of desk clutter; especially if they are things you might want to take with you at all times, for instance a phone. For the sake of iPhone and iPod users, Buffalo technology has come up with the Dualie, which is a dock that combines both a charging dock for an iPhone or iPod along with a 500GB portable hard drive that can be popped out and taken anywhere.
You will be able to easily carry you iPhone in one pocket and the hard drive in the other. In order to donate activity, there is a stylishly curved blue LED at the top. As we just mentioned, you need just the USB cable to connect it to your system, however, there is also a power adaptor if you need to plug on. The tidiness of the dock cradle is very appealing and will serve the purpose of keeping your desk clutter to a minimum.
Leaving the novelty aside, the Buffalo Dualie comes with a 500GB dual interface hard drive which includes FireWire 800 and USB2.0. It is a 2.5″ SATA drive with a spindle speed of 5400rpm. Buffalo makes use of Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi or Samsung drive mechanisms in its drive enclosures. The Dualie’s drive can be reformatted to work with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, giving PC users the same one-cable convenience. While these on-screen instructions are comprehensive with appropriate illustrations, they do require a certain amount of switching to and fro with the formatting settings window. Novice users could easily become confused when the instructions mention selecting “Delete Volume” yet this option was greyed out and unobtainable when we attempted this action. Experienced users should have no problems.
The dual functionality:
While it is true that the Buffalo Dualie HD-PA500IBU2D hard drive recharges the iPhone and also connects both the phone and external hard drive to your computer, there is actually no interaction between the two hardware devices. You will not be able to backup your iPhone or iPod with the Dualie or drag files to and fro. But of course, you could always put the files you want on your phone from your system and back them up on the drive. However, the lack of interaction might disappoint a lot of the consumers, just as it did us. In a gist, the Buffalo Dualie effectively accomplishes both the tasks without any enhancement in either of them and so, do not expect it to enhance your overall experience in any way in either device.
In the performance matters, the Buffalo Dualie 500GB portable hard drive offers decent speed scores. It is possible to connect the Dualie to a FireWire 400 port, although the appropriate FireWire 800-to-400 adapter cable is not included in the box. The Dualie’s USB and FireWire 400 times are also slightly behind the Elite-AL Pro Mini. The duplication results are also quite similar. The 46 seconds score of the Dualie’s FireWire 800 could not compete with the Elite-AL Pro Mini’s score of 40 seconds. The latter’s FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 scores are also marginally better than that of the Dualie’s.
While the device produces copy and duplication scores that are comparable to the desktop drives, their bus powered mechanisms ultimately struggle with some of the low photoshop tasks. This does not come in as a surprise as the desktop drives are designed for doing the heavy lifting jobs, but the degree of difference might be surprising. While a typical desktop hard drive takes a little a over a minute to complete the low memory photo shop tasks with USB 2.0, the Dualie took about 4 minutes and 10 seconds. The difference between the two portable drives becomes quite evident when each use their FireWire 800 connection types and the Dualie was able to do the job in just two minutes and fifty one seconds, which is a far superior score.
It is quite obvious that the Dualie is designed for the casual user, rather than the graphics professional who needs to transfer large files using external hard drives.
Price tag examined:
When you consider the price per gigabyte of the Buffalo Dualie Portable, it is extremely high for a portable external hard drive, but of course what you are paying is not just for the hard drive, but of course, you are not paying just for the drive, but a docking station too. Some might think that it is worth shelling out the few extra bucks for a dock station to clean up the desk while some might be turned off by the price wonder why they have to chuck so much for a slow hard drive coupled with an iPod dock when their USB cord works just fine.
The Buffalo Dualie Portable Drive comes with two years return to base warranty.
The Buffalo Dualie Portable Drive 500GB Capacity has respectable speed, very portable and is a versatile unit too. Yet, if it were not for the included dock, the nondescript hard drive would have hardly made any waves. Whether or not you will find the reduction in chords and stylish dock worth your time and money is up to you. When it comes to performance, the Buffalo Dualie is decent but by no means is speedy. The Dualie is appealing if you want to reduce desk clutter and it actually costs a few pounds less than buying Apple’s universal iPod dock and a LaCie FireWire 800 500GB portable disk separately. However, if you do not need FireWire then you can save around £20 by buying a USB-only disk instead although you don’t get the one-cable convenience of the Dualie.
Buffalo Dualie 500GB 2.5″ Portable Drive – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||Buffalo Dualie Porable Drive|
|Storage Capacities available||500GB|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||135 x 84 x 20 mm|
|Casing||Elegant aluminium tone finished chassis|
|Hard Drive||Toshiba MK5065GSX|
|Interfaces||USB2, FireWire 800|
|Power Source||USB from host, FireWire from host, external|
|Compatible systems||Pre-formatted hard drive for Mac® users.
Includes all necessary drivers for Windows users.
|Package contents||Includes hard drive, dock adapters and all necessary cables|
|Warranty||Two years RTB|