|Screen Size||50 centimeters|
|Hard Drive||500 GB portable|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||1|
Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 500 GB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA500TU3)
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Thunderbolt Interface
- Interface speeds up to 10 Gbps
- Includes High Performance USB 3.0 port
- Thunderbolt cable included
- Time Machine compatibility
- Perfect for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiast
- Adds storage to your Mac or PC computer
- Dual Interface Portable Hard Drive
There is a newer model of this item:
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From the manufacturer
- 3-year warranty
- 24/7 US tech support
High Performance Storage & Backup
MiniStation Thunderbolt offers easy plug-and-play storage, featuring the revolutionary Thunderbolt interface for unparalleled transfer speeds and a USB port for universal connectivity. With speeds up to 10 Gbps, MiniStation Thunderbolt offers speeds 2X FASTER than USB 3.0. Perfect as a PC or Mac portable hard drive, the MiniStation Thunderbolt offers one of the fastest connection interfaces available.
- Thunderbolt interface delivers extremely fast transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps for Mac users
- USB 3.0 offers universal connectivity for Windows PCs
- Plug-and-play setup provides easy to use storage and quick capacity expansion
- Pre-formatted for Mac and can be re-formatted for PCs
- Time Machine support offers scheduled backups for protecting Mac computers
The MiniStation Thunderbolt portable hard drive features the revolutionary Thunderbolt storage technology, raising the bar on how you transfer, store and transport data. Delivering speeds up to an amazing 10 Gbps, this portable Thunderbolt drive uses the fastest interface available, 2X FASTER than USB 3.0, ideal for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts.
Easy to Use Storage
MiniStation Thunderbolt provides reliable, easy to use portable storage to quickly expand the capacity of your PC or Mac computer with Thunderbolt support and universal USB 3.0 plug-and-play connectivity.
Coupled with the lightning-fast Thunderbolt interface is a USB 3.0 port for universal connectivity and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0. The MiniStation Thunderbolt portable hard drive is pre-formatted for Mac computers but can easily be reformatted for use with PCs.
Time Machine Backup
The MiniStation Thunderbolt portable hard drive is pre-formatted for use with Mac and compatible with Time Machine for complete data backup. Schedule backups and automatically protect your important ﬁles with this powerful Mac portable hard drive.
|MiniStation||MiniStation Air||MiniStation DDR||MiniStation Extreme NFC||MiniStation Thunderbolt|
|Capacity Range||1 TB - 2 TB||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB - 2 TB||1 TB - 2 TB|
|Interface Connection(s)||USB 3.0||USB 3.0, Wireless||USB 3.0||USB 3.0||Thunderbolt, USB 3.0|
|Warranty Period||1 year||3 years||3 years||3 years||3 years|
Compare to similar items
This item Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 500 GB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA500TU3)
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||GO SMART||Calumet||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Safe Harbor Computers, NLE, Post, 3D & Broadcast|
|Digital Storage Capacity||—||1 TB||1 TB||2 TB||1 TB||2 TB|
|Hard Disk Description||portable||External||Portable||External||Portable||Portable|
|Hard-Drive Size||500 GB||1 TB||1 TB||2 TB||1 TB||2 TB|
|Hardware Connectivity||USB||USB 3.0||USB 3.0||USB 3.0||USB 3.0||USB 3.0|
|Item Dimensions||3.17 x 0.91 x 5.12 in||5 x 0.75 x 3.27 in||3.5 x 5.5 x 1 in||3.08 x 4.96 x 0.68 in||3.23 x 5.08 x 0.51 in||0.98 x 3.5 x 5.51 in|
|Item Weight||0.58 lb||0.65 lb||0.75 lb||0.53 lb||6.24 ounces||5.12 ounces|
|Memory Storage Capacity||—||—||1 TB||2 GB||1 GB||2,000 GB|
MiniStation Thunderbolt is a high performance portable hard drive featuring the revolutionary Thunderbolt technology. Delivering the fastest interface speeds available, up to 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt is 2X faster than USB 3.0, giving you the fastest portable storage interface ever, perfect for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts. Housed in a sleek aluminum body, MiniStation Thunderbolt is a stylish storage companion for your laptop while on the go and at home. It includes a USB 3.0 port for convenience and universal connectivity. Instantly add capacity to your Mac or PC computer and use with Time Machine to back up and protect your important data. Its bus-powered interface requires no additional cables so transporting your data is hassle-free. MiniStation Thunderbolt is a complete portable Thunderbolt storage solution, simply plug it in to any available Thunderbolt or USB port on your Mac or PC computer and securely store files to take on the road.
Top customer reviews
The bad: Although this is a very good drive and is faster using Thunderbolt than USB 3.0 (as it should be), performance is neutered by the fact that the hard drive is 5,400rpm, as opposed to a faster 7,200rpm drive. I realize that this would make it much more expensive, but would be nice in order to get more of the performance benefits provided by Thunderbolt. Lastly, and this is a very minor one, the texture of the top of the drive makes this thing very susceptible to dust collection. I am by no means a neat freak, but do like to keep my computing equipment clean and dust-free.
The bad points above should by no means discourage any potential buyers, but are just my reasoning for not rating this with 5 stars. I would certainly buy this again, and am actually considering getting a second one.
I just installed a Samsung EVO 1TB SSD into this drive, dramatically increasing speed! Both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces give about the same performance, between 320~350MB/s in both read and write. Once again, Buffalo's marketing is misleading because their thunderbolt interface is NOT twice as fast as their USB interface. The Samsung EVO can do over 500MB/s, so I think that the internal SATA interface of this drive is SATA II (3Gb/s) not SATA III (6Gb/s), which limits its upgrade ability. However this drive was not designed to be upgraded so I can't complain too much.
When I wrote the original review in 2012, this drive was selling for $229 and some Apple computers still used USB 2.0.
At the time, the bare 1tb drive was worth $100 and the thunderbolt cable was worth $49.
Now, that same 1tb hard drive retails for $80 and Apple's official "short" thunderbolt cable retails $29. Furthermore, all Apple computers have moved on to USB 3.0 making thunderbolt overkill for a 5400RPM drive.
The item, by function, form and quality still deserves 5 stars. However on the value/price aspect I think it is now 3~4 stars.
I have also had the opportunity to try a SSD in this unit, and with an SSD the unit DOES saturate the USB 3.0 interface and starts tapping into the Thunderbolt interface's potential. Unfortunately I am not sure if the internal SATA interface is 3.0 or full 6.0 so I am not sure how fully you can utilize the thunderbolt speed... If you are the kind of person who loves iFixit then you may want to replace the internal 1TB drive with a SSD. In fact just grab the 500GB version and do the swap.
BUILD QUALITY and INTERNAL COMPONENTS:
The aluminum frame and plastic top look great and feel great in my hands. Very solid with no flex. The two pieces are glued together using some kind of sticky tape (very similar to the glue on the Apple Time Capsule) and it was very difficult to open the case. I do not recommend that you try it!
Once the top and bottom frames are separated, the entire PCB-HD-shieldcage assembly is held together with 6 high-quality screws. These were really well machined screws, with nicely polished beveled edges! (Every little thing counts.)
The circuit board appears to be very well made, with plenty of SMDs, metal shielding and grounding. Both the USB and Thunderbolt ports are grounded with the drive through a metal cage. I think the circuit board "fit and finish" quality almost matches the logic board on my macbook pro.
The hard drive is a SAMSUNG Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB. The sticker on the drive has both Seagate and Samsung printed on it. My drive had a manufacture date of May 2012. This is the normal 9.5mm laptop drive, which sells for $100. Buffalo did not cheap out and use the thicker drives!
The case worked with other 2.5" 9.5mm height hard drives, so I may be replacing the drive with a SSD in the future. I have not tested alternate drives yet.
GREAT VALUE at $230:
1. The 1TB drive is worth $100.
2. The enclosure/case and circuitry is easily worth $50 in my opinion. It would be hard to find a similar quality USB 3.0 only case at this price. (Despite the glue!)
3. The included cables (Thunderbolt + USB 3) are worth at least $50. (But, the cables are short.)
I paid $229.00, which was the original launch price, and it was a great value. However, at $270 the Seagate Drive with easy-exchange interface looks better to me... Seagate GoFlex 1 TB Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive for Mac with Thunderbolt Adapter (STBA1000104)
The external sticker says Made in Japan. However the hard drive is Made in China.
This drive works great on my Macbook Air 2011 and Macbook Pro 13" 2011. However, the drive was not recognized in my Macbook Pro until I applied the Apple's thunderbolt firmware software update.
The brochure for the drive make it sound like this drive will run at pure thunderbolt speeds. However that is misleading. A 5400RPM drive simply cannot saturate the thunderbolt interface. The drive reads and writes around 100MB/s with thunderbolt on my 2011 Macbook Pro 13". That is still very fast compared to USB 2.0 and slightly faster than FW800; but it is definitely not "twice as fast as USB 3.0". The drive reaches around 30 MB/s in USB 2.0 mode.
iMac 27" 2011 model with 2 Thunderbolt ports.
Video Editor & Photographer
Needed a Time Machine drive
Owned the drive since December(2 months ago)
The drive is fantastic and does what it says. It works.
I don't mind the slower 5200RPM speed. I figure since I am only using it as a Time Machine drive, there is no reason for me to want a 7200RPM drive…It literally just sits there on my desk doing nothing but backing up. The backing up process doesn't need to be fast.
I bought thunderbolt because:
1. I didn't want it to take up a firewire port. My current video drive is firewire so I needed that to stay available. I still have an extra thunderbolt available if necessary whilst keeping my firewire available(yes I know you can buy a firewire to thunderbolt adapter).
2. This drive seemed super reliable from the reviews. (And so far it is. I'll update in about 6 months)
Overall, its a really pretty drive and really tiny as well. The white LED light in front is a great touch. Only 2 ports on the back. Love how clean it makes my desk. I totally recommend it as your backup drive that sits there doing nothing but backing up. Can't say I would recommend it as a workhorse editing drive though… I wouldn't imagine it being fast enough, especially for large RAW video files.