The Buffalo Technology company has launched quite an extensive line-up of data storage and networking related products in its long history, including a couple of very interesting external data storage solutions. And one such device is the DriveStation Combo TurboUSB, launched by the company back in the second half of 2006, an external storage solution that provides large storage capacities, as well as enhanced connectivity options.
The Combo unit is largely based on the previous DriveStation SATA model, but it does provide an interesting extra-feature. Thus, unlike the other model, the Combo sports an extra FireWire 400 connection, which allows for faster real data transfer rates. Thus, the FireWire mode does support a maximum transfer rate of around 400 Mbps, but the real speeds are generally a lot close to this maximum than in the case of USB 2.0, which attains a maximum rate of around 480 Mbps.
However, this extra-connector is just about the only major difference between the SATA and Combo versions. They have almost the same external design, which means that the Combo also sports a fanless heat sink chassis, which not only looks good, but also provides a good level of cooling for the drive inside, while keeping the noise level on the low. Moreover, the chassis' design allows users to place the storage solution either in vertical or horizontal position.
Another more or less significant difference is related to the provided storage capacities. Thus, the device is available in 320 GB, 500 GB, 750 GB and 1 TB versions (also provided by one 7200 RPM Serial ATA hard drive), which should provide just about enough storage for most users' needs.
As any modern external storage device should, the drive from Buffalo comes packed with a few interesting software applications, namely the SecureLockWare program (a security suite), as well as the Memeo AutoBackup Windows PCs, which enables the users to carry out fast and reliable data backup operations. Moreover, the device also supports power shutdown scheduling, in order to save energy when not in use.
The devices from the DriveStation Combo family are available in the 117 – 350 US dollars price range (depending on the storage capacity and the retailer), which are not exactly very high price tags, considering the storage spaces (as well as the extra-features) they can provide.