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.