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Tech in the Classroom: Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt Hard Drive

What is it This is a fast external hard drive that has both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports.

How does it work?  On Mac machines, using the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 is as simple as plugging in. As soon as that’s done, the drive’s icon will pop up in the Finder and on the desktop. The drive is powered by the port into which it's plugged, but the drive only works with one cable at a time. If a user were to, for example, hook up both the USB and Thunderbolt cables to his computer, the drive would first favor the port to which it’s connected. Since the Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 is formatted in HFS+, PC users will need to reformat to the NTFS file system in order to run the drive

buffalo thunderbolt drive

How hard is it to use? Not hard at all. Like most portable storage devices, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 is very user friendly.

How well does it work?  The Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 is an innovator. It’s the first Thunderbolt drive that also features USB 3.0 connectivity, and it comes with both Thunderbolt and USB cables (the former is a $50 value). The device’s white aluminum casing, gloss top, and two rubber surface grips give it a luxurious look (this is a sports car in the world of portable storage). The list price of $229.99 isn’t too bad for 1TB of space, especially considering the drive’s speed. There’s also a 500GB version for $199.99, but paying $30 more would certainly be worth it for double the space. The smaller drive comes with a Thunderbolt port and a micro USB 3.0 port on one side, but that’s it. One Thunderbolt port means this device would be at the end of any daisy chain to which you’d want to connect it.

How do I use it in the classroom?  The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PATU3 is a great option for any educator needing personal portable storage or extra storage on a school machine. Users will appreciate the sleek aluminum casing, fast speed, reasonable price and three-year warranty.


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Read about other products featured in the Tech in the Classroom series.

Tech in the Classroom is a recurring feature that examines widely available technology, software and gadgets and how they might be used in a school setting.


Article by Jason Cunningham, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
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