On Tuesday, Buffalo Technology announced the availability of the MiniStation Thunderbolt / USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive. Now available through distributors, online resellers and Buffalo's website, the 500 GB version (HD-PA500TU3) costs $199.99 USD, and the 1 TB version (HD-PA1.0TU3) costs $229.99 USD.
The MiniStation Thunderbolt made its first appearance earlier this month at Computex, marked as the "world's first" dual-interface external drive featuring these two super-speedy connections. It's housed in a sleek aluminum body with a translucent frosted top. It also features an indirect disk access LED indicator mounted on the underside which illuminates its supporting surface.
"Creating, storing and moving digital content on the go has always been a challenging proposal for all types of users as either the interface was incompatible or too slow or the storage solution was physically too large," said Brian Verenkoff, director of marketing at Buffalo Technology. "Collaborating with Intel to deliver the world’s first dual-interface Thunderbolt and USB storage solution as well as the world’s first portable Thunderbolt hard drive reaffirms Buffalo’s pioneering spirit and engineering excellence."
As previously reported, the USB 3.0 interface will provide transfer speeds up to 5 Gbps whereas the Thunderbolt connection will support up to 10 Gbps transfer speeds. The bus-powered drive will be compatible with both the Windows and Mac platforms, it won't need a separate power connection, and it will be backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
"The MiniStation Thunderbolt is a complete portable Thunderbolt storage solution that comes with a USB 3.0 cable and a Thunderbolt cable, normally sold separately on other Thunderbolt storage solutions," Buffalo said on Tuesday. "Simply plug it in to any available Thunderbolt or USB port on your Mac or PC and securely store files to take on the road."
THe drive's technical specs reveal it to measure 3.17(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.91(d) inches, and comes pre-formatted as HSF+. Consumers can reformat its capacity as FAT32 or NTFS for use with Windows. For more information about the dual-interface external drive, head here.