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Buffalo MiniStation Air One Terrabyte HDW-PDU3 Review

by  on January 21, 2015
Audio-Video
Hot!
Overview
Build Quality

Excellent

Price Point

Runs about $130 as of the date of this article. MSRP is $199

Features

STORE & TRANSPORT YOUR ENTIRE MULTIMEDIA LIBRARY
With MiniStation Air wireless mobile storage, you can carry your entire multimedia library with you and stream your favorite content to up to 8 Apple and Android mobile devices, TVs, media players, gaming consoles and more!
For mobile devices
EXPAND YOUR MOBILE CAPACITY
No more room on your smartphone for that extra movie? No problem! With 1 TB of storage, you can store and transport thousands of photos, hundreds of movies and hours of music for instant access from your mobile devices.
DLNA
STREAM THROUGHOUT YOUR HOME
MiniStation Air is DLNA Certified so you can enjoy your movies, music, photos and more on smart TVs, media player and gaming consoles. Stream your favorites to multiple devices at the same time.
USB 3.0
UNIVERSAL CONNECTIVITY
Connect MiniStation Air via USB 3.0 for fast file transfers and access when directly connected to your PC or Mac computer. Plus, MiniStation Air is backward compatible with USB 2.0 for universal connectivity.
Battery Charger
PORTABLE BATTERY CHARGER
MiniStation Air doubles as a portable battery charger for your smartphone. Charge your iPhone 5S, Galaxy S5, or other smartphone while on-the-go!
Long Battery Life
12 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE
MiniStation Air features up to 12 hours of battery life. Stream movie after movie on a single charge.
Wi-Fi Hotspot
CREATE A WIRELESS HOTSPOT
Connect MiniStation Air to an existing wireless network and share Internet access with multiple devices.

AwardsHot!
Positives

DLNA Media Server
Built-in Wireless Access Point (b/g/n)
Good Storage Capacity
MSRP is $199, can be had for $130 online if you look
Nice clean and easy to use apps for Android and iOS
It works well

Negatives

So far there isn't much in the way of playing outside of the box (i.e. root access, adding homebrew applications)
Doesn't seem to support Windows Phone 7 or 8

Price Point
Price Point
MSRP
Quality of Build
Feature Set
Resale Value
Design / Look
Existing Consumer Opinion
Support
Functions as Advertised
Bottom Line

The Buffalo MiniStation Air is an excellent device to add to your arsenal.

Price Point
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The Buffalo MiniStation Air – 1 TB is so promising.  What a great idea – basically it is a small handheld wireless hard drive that lets you backup your photos, video, documents etc… Big deal right?  Well kinda… The reason I say this is because there are apps for your Android/iOS devices (Phones and Tablets) that let you send everything to the drive.  The Buffalo MiniStation Air is completely wireless so it runs on a battery you don’t need to plug it in unless it needs charging.  In addition it has a built in wireless Access Point so it lets you build a private network anywhere you are to trade files back and forth from a pretty large storage container (1 TB).

The Buffalo MiniStation Air is more useful though as a media streamer.  It lets you link up to it with your devices and it will stream movies, music and photos to them via that same Wireless AP and a twonky service it has installed. This is particularly cool if you are planning on going over to your in-laws for a holiday gathering and you want to throw some movies on your drive so you don’t go out of your mind.  A special bonus if you bring a mini HDMI to HDMI cable and set it up on their television. You don’t even need a cable if they have a smart TV with a DLNA client, because the Buffalo MiniStation Air  has a DLNA server in it, which will allow you to stream directly to a smart TV, or media streamer (most of the newer bluray players have DLNA clients).  If you bring the right movies you might end up a big man/woman on campus to the rest of the folks there who are bored out of their mind :)

It also makes photo and video sharing during family gatherings a breeze.  Just have your friends and family download the app and link to your drive.  Everyone can dump their photos/videos and take yours.  The Buffalo MiniStation Air has USB 3.0 so you can dump your content to your PC very quickly.

The Buffalo MiniStation Air  also acts like a portable phone/tablet charger and it has enough power to last 12 full hours without charging up.  You can expect to charge an iPhone 5 completely and have battery left over for about 2 hours of drive run time.  Depending on the device you will want to limit your charging while you are on the road to about 50% if you plan on using your Buffalo MiniStation Air for its intended use. There is also a function that lets you turn the Buffalo MiniStation Air into a portable hotspot.  All in all it is a great device.  I am a little disappointed in it because there is a significant nerd factor with this device. It is something that an experienced nerd/hack could really make their own (i.e. turn it into a plex media server, etc…) but they patched some of the back doors that let you gain root access which prevents a lot of extra curricular activity.  Buffalo Tech has a great reputation for being open to people doing out of the box things with their devices so perhaps this will change in the near future.  If you are looking for a good deal on a Buffalo MiniStation Air you can get one here: BUFFALO MiniStation Air 1 TB Wireless Mobile Storage (HDW-PD1.0U3) for $129.99 with Free 2 Day Air Shipping (for Prime Members).  I give the Buffalo MiniStation Air a hair less than 5 out of 5 stars.


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