I recently upgraded to a Retina MacBook Pro laptop and wanted to find a Thundberbolt compatible hard drive to take with me on the road for Time Machine backups, photo storage, iTunes music and ripped DVDs. There wasn’t a lot of choice out there, despite the fact that Thunderbolt has been in the market for awhile.
Given the lack of choice, I went with the 1TB Buffalo Thunderbolt drive. Here is what I found:
- Dual interface: Thunderbolt & USB 3.0
- comes with both Thunderbolt & USB 3.0 cables
I was impressed by the speed. I’m not an engineer, so I didn’t measure this in any scientific way but I did manage to play a Blu-Ray that I had ripped to the hard drive without it stuttering in pure 1080p. This was something I couldn’t do on any of my previous machines. Nevertheless, some reviewers were not impressed and feel it should deliver more performance.
I liked the look of the drive and it was well-machined. Unfortunately, it’s a lot bigger than I had hoped. I miss my Freecom XXS – although, I hear that they have a Thunderbolt version in the works, so I might just find my salvation when that hits the market.
The dual-interface is nice if you want to transport files between a Mac and a newer PC (with USB 3.0). Remember, though, that you’ll have to use a compatible file-system, which will probably limit the size of your files – unless you use special software at one end.
Including the Thunderbolt cable, though, was a plus. These cables are expensive – roughly $50 – so this should be factored into the price comparison.
All-in-All, I’d give the Buffalo a thumbs up. They are one of the first to market with a portable Thunderbolt drive and what they’ve come up with is impressive. Now, if only they could make it slimmer…!
Where to Buy: