Buffalo LinkStation drive goes 'eco'

LinkStation Live now comes with 'intelligent' eco power-saving.

Buffalo Technology's aged-looking LinkStation Live NAS drives have been given a trendy facelift, adding 'green' features the company hopes will appeal to the power-frugal.

The storage capacities remain as before - increments between 500GB and 1TB - but behind the curvaceous finish of the new drive lies some interesting improvements. A few might even appeal to small business users.

The LinkStation Live now comes with 'intelligent' eco power-saving, which lets the owner control power-saving thresholds such as when the unit puts itself into sleep mode. The company hasn't published information on the drive's power consumption in different states, but it will power down when the computer to which it is attached directly (not across the network) is also turned off.

This is best described as a 'crossover' drive aimed at the small-scale pro workstation and home user alike, with features for both sides of the business and work coin. iPhone users will warm to the way its web access portal lets content from the NAS be accessed on the phone, an Apple-centricity backed up by its integration with Apple's iTunes 7.0 and Mac/Windows Memeo backup software.

It also comes with a BitTorrent client built in, assuming you actually want such a thing - users tend to be very fussy about which one they use. That said, it will download BitTorrents in 'hands-free' mode without the PC having to be turned on once the transfer has been initiated.

There's no direct Wi-Fi but the company has included a single Gigabit Ethernet interface to complement its USB 2.0 storage upgrade port. File copy from an attached camcorder or digital camera can happen in 'one-touch' mode, a feature that has appeared on previous Buffalo products. There's also a print server, and support for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

The old-style LinkStation Live models will still be sold in parallel to the new design for the time being, an admission perhaps that not every user wants external and NAS hard drives to look anything other than utilitarian.

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John E. Dunn

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