The Bottom Line
It seems as of late many vendors have been jumping on the opportunity to create a wireless storage solution. For instance, we just have seen Toshiba's solution with the AeroMobile wireless SSD.
Adding to that, Corsair has the Voyager Air, Seagate has both the LaCie Fuel and Central, and of course Transcend has the StoreJet Cloud. At any rate, you see my point - there are certainly no shortage of wireless storage solutions in the market, but the solution we are about to take a look at takes it a step above just storage.
The MiniStation Air from Buffalo is available in 500GB and 1TB capacities. Features include 802.11n wireless operation, along with USB 3.0 connection for those that want to use the solution on their PC. With the wireless connection, the MiniStation Air is capable of eight simultaneous connections, and pushes three HD streams. In addition to the capabilities as a storage solution, the MiniStation Air allows you to plug in your smartphone or tablet and charge the device via the USB port on the side of the unit.
MSRP of the Buffalo MiniStation Air in the 1TB capacity is set at $159.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the MiniStation Air highlights features of the solution, along with listing compatibility.
The back of the packaging goes into further detail on the features of the MiniStation.
Scope of delivery for the MiniStation includes a charger, USB 3.0 cable, and reading materials.
Above, we have our first look at the new MiniStation Air. The top left corner of the unit houses the power button and LED indicators for battery life, wireless connectivity and power.
On the top edge of the drive, you will find the power input at the left, with the USB 3.0 connection next to it.
The side of the MiniStation houses the USB port for charging your smartphones and tablets.
The app, which we loaded up on our iPhone 5S, was relatively simple and straightforward. There are two menu items, iPhone and MiniStation at the top. From there, we have subsections underneath that split your files into pictures, music and videos.
The MiniStation Air has quite a few options available within the application. Some of these include wireless settings, power saving options, along with the ability to adjust video playback and slideshow type.
Seen above, our 1TB model was factory formatted with the NTFS file system. The useable capacity is 931GB.
As a quick benchmark, we loaded up CDM and ran the MiniStation Air through testing. We came up with 111 MB/s read and 103 MB/s write for sequential - plenty of performance for streaming multiple HD movies.
The MiniStation Air is a great dual-purpose solution for those that travel often and want access to their movie, music and picture collection on the go. The build quality of the unit is solid, and the internal hard drive is silent. As far as the charging capabilities are concerned, the MiniStation Air was able to charge both my iPhone 5S and iPad Mini without issue, and even had a little left over before I had to recharge the device itself. Battery life seems to be in line with marketing at around 11 to 12 hours.
Performance when we tested the MiniStation Air over USB 3.0 came in at 111 MB/s read and 103 MB/s write, and like I said before, it should be plenty for producing the three simultaneous streams, which the marketing depicts.
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||80%|
The Bottom Line: Buffalo's MiniStation Air portable drive is a great mobile solution for taking your data on the go with you, and with the unique capability of charging your smartphone or tablet.
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