HD-PFU2 : MiniStation TurboUSB 250GB External Hard Drive from Buffalo
Ultra portable sleek design
Good shock resistance
Excellent data transfer rate
Working of the Turbo USB mode on both Windows and Mac
Lower CPU usage in the Turbo USB mode
The Memeo backup software is a great backup friend
Supports USB 2.0 and backwards compatible with USB 1.1
Poor vista performance
SecureLockWare software’s poor design
Just one year warranty
HD-PFU2 MiniStation Turbo USB 250GB Review:
The increase in the popularity of the external hard disk drives as much as that of the flash drives is because, people in need of large amount of memory can easily install and get the portability that the internal hard drives do not offer.
Bus powered external hard drives are much portable than some of the non-bus powered, but the size will ask the drive to compromise in the speed as, they usually offer only USB support. Buffalo thinks this should not be the case and their MiniStation Turbo USB 250GB Portable External Hard Drive claims to be more than 60% faster than its rivals. The Buffalo’s MiniStation Turbo USB is the cousin of the DriveStation Combo Turbo USB.
Design and shock resistance:
Since the drive is bus powered, it is ultra-small and hence extremely portable. The Buffalo MiniStation Turbo USB 250gb HD-PF250U2/WH hard drive comes in a impact resistant plastic case in a matte black finish. The inside of the case of this 2.5” hard drive is also surrounded by a shock absorbing material in order to protect the drive beyond the main covering. Since the device is well protected against vibration and shock, the device gets a longer life and also very reliable which is a very important requirement in external hard drives.
Ports and capacity:
On the top of this Portable External hard drive is an LED that indicates the power and activity of the device. Towards the bottom of the drive is a mini USB cable port and a 5V auxiliary power connection. There is a groove around the edges of the device for you to wrap the USB cable around it in order to fit in so that it can be safely wrapped around and contingently stored or transported when the device is not in use. The Buffalo MiniStation Turbo comes in the capacities of 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 250GB and 320GB.
It is compatible with Operating Systems such as Microsoft Windows 2000, Apple MacOS 9, Apple MacOS X, Microsoft Windows Xp and Microsoft Windows Vista.
The speed performance of the Buffalo MiniStation Turbo USB 250gb external hard drive is as it is in its specification. Before installing and enabling the Turbo USB utility, the drive read at the speed of 34.7 MB/sec and wrote at the speed of 29.5 MB/sec which is quite fast for a USB hard drive. Then, after installing and enabling the Turbo USB utility, the read and write speeds increased to a very impressive 39.3 MB/sec and 33.1 MB/sec. The CPU utilization also dropped from a very impressive 11% to 5%. This Turbo USB feature increases the data transfer speeds by 64% which is terrific. The read speed is increased by about 90% and the write speed is increased by around 35%. And strangely, the drive gave a slower performance in vista. This external hard drive has a spindle speed of 5400rpm.
The Memeo backup software:
A very big feature of Buffalo MiniStation Turbo 250GB is its Memeo backup software which is an easy way to back-up your data. Unlike the other software that ask you what you want to back up first, the memeo software asks you where you will want to back-up your data. You are not just limited to backing up your data to the specified drive alone ass you can use any location you wish to such as, another hard drive, a network location or a flash drive or even your iPod. If you wish to save the previous formats of the files as well, that can also be done. If the data is very confidential and you are very concerned about its security, then you can also make use of the 128 bit AES encryption which makes sure that the memo software alone will be able to restore the data. However, you should be aware that it will be impossible to access data once you use the encryption option, if you should forget the password.
Once this is done, all that you will need to do is specify the files. You can either do it folder by folder or by the SmartPicks which is a common set of files that you would choose to have a back-up such as email, music, pictures or even my documents. This feature makes all the processes much more easier and still gives you the flexibility of choosing which file/folder needs to be backed-up and which does not. And just in one click, the Memeo backup software starts up its processes and your files are backed-up immediately. From then on, this software monitors all the changes made and backs them up quickly. If you need to restore any of your file that is very simple too, as all that you will have to do is, simply click over restore option within memeo and you will be given a list of options on where to restore such as the original location or on your desktop or some other folder etc. If you had overwritten a file by mistake, you could also restore a previous version of it if you need to. And if you are dealing with a large amount of data, then you also have a search feature that aids you in finding a specific file that you would like to deal with.
External hard drives are meant to be secure and the Buffalo HD-PFU MiniStation Turbo USB 250GB hard drive is secure. It bundles the SecureLockWare software for security purposes. During the installation of this software, it prompts you to set a password and an optional hint. Then, it asks you to format the drive which has to be done manually which unfortunately many users do not know how to. After the formatting is done you can lock and unlock the external hard drive as you wish to.
SecureLockWare software cannot be said as user friendly. All the drives must be manually locked and unlocked for any kind of usage. For users in a hurry, this will be very irritating. But this is not a big issue as the drive is encrypted and cannot be accessed without the software. The second issue is a very basic and the most irritating of all, that is, nothing pops-up immediately to unlock the software and even the shortcuts are not provided. You will have to go to the start menu and then do all the unlocking of the drive. What is even more annoying is that the applications of locking and unlocking are entirely different. And guess what, they are mislabeled too. Yes! In order to lock the drive you will have to click over unlock and for unlocking, you will have to click over lock. We just wonder had they ever done any of the testing phase in the software development cycle.
The package contents:
The package contents of the Buffalo MiniStation Turbo are, Buffalo 250GB MiniStation Turbo USB Hard Drive, Turbo USB utility, Memeo AutoBackup, SecureLockWare Encryption, 2.5′ USB A to +5V DC aux. power cable, 1.5′ USB A to mini-B wraparound cable, Turbo USB utility installation instructions and a Memeo quick start guide.
The Buffalo MiniStation Turbo USB 250GB comes with one year limited warranty.
The Buffalo MiniStation 2.5″ Turbo USB 250GB Portable External Hard Drive is an excellent performer in features and performance. The read and write speeds are very impressive. The Memeo backup software is of great use whereas, the SecureLockWare software is a nightmare to use. Though the device is heavy in price, the duty is impressive. But in terms of its performance as an external hard drive, the Buffalo MiniStation Turbo bus powered drive does a great job and we certainly recommend it.
Buffalo MiniStation Turbo USB 250GB – Technical Specification Details
|Model Name||Buffalo MiniStation Turbo|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||131 x 83 x 22 mm|
|Available Colours||Black, White|
|Compatibility||Win 2000/XP/VistaTM, Mac OS 10.3 and higher|
|Interface||USB 2.0 and 1.1 compliant|
|Bus transfer rate||480 MB/sec|
|Spindle speed||5400 rpm|
|Storage Controller||Serial ATA -Hi-Speed USB|
|Power source||USB bus|