External hard drives are the most common storage devices next to flash drives that enable us to back up and take data with us as we travel. With options increasing in capacity and the footprint of these solutions shrinking, additional features such as encryption have come in to play allowing vendors to separate themselves in a crowded market.
The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is unique portable hard drive that has been designed to be both rugged with its IPX3 and IP5X certifications for both water and dust protection, while offering security via its 256-bit AES encryption and use of NFC technology. Capacity options include 1TB and 2TB offerings each using the USB 3.0 interface with backwards compatibility to USB 2.0. Compatibility of the MiniStation Extreme NFC extends to Windows Vista through 8.1, along with OS X 10.8+.
MSRP of the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC in the 1TB capacity is listed at $129.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the MiniStation carries an image of the drive to the right, while marketing information is listed to the left. Capacity and interface are both labelled at the top right.
Scope of delivery includes the drive, USB 3.0 extension cable, and setup guide with NFC card.
The front of the drive carries a sticker to locate the NFC unlock of the drive's security setup.
Under a rubber cover at the bottom left of the drive, you find the lock slot.
Like previous MiniStation Extreme solutions, the NFC model too houses its USB cable within the structure of the enclosure.
In testing the performance of the MiniStation NFC, we start with sequential performance in Windows 8.1. Read performance came in at 120 MB/s, while write performance landed at 199 MB/s. This is about 5 to 6 MB/s quicker than the previous MiniStation Extreme tested.
Price/Performance landed the NFC model near the upper middle of the charts at 91.5% just above the previous solution from Buffalo.
The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is a solid device for users that want both durability and security in a single solution. Making this drive unique is the ability to secure the drive and when needed unlock the drive via a smart card with NFC technology. This eliminates users losing passwords and having to format the drive and losing their data to recover the device. Build quality is rather good with this solution as plastics and the integrated USB 3.0 cable fit together well.
Performance of the MiniStation was on par with expectations with read and write touching near 120 MB/s, while price/performance netted the drive a spot near the middle of our charts at 91.5%.
As far as pricing is concerned, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme carries a MSRP of $129.99 for the 1TB model and $199.99 for the 2TB solution. Looking around at similar solutions, the MiniStation NFC appears to be positioned in the right ballpark as other solutions with similar features.
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||86%|
|Value for Money||88%|
The Bottom Line: Buffalo's MiniStation NFC is a great solution for those that want both military grade durability with the advantage of easy to use security features.
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